Norwich City Women have signed six new players, including four members of the Norwich City Community Sports Foundation’s (CSF) Football Development Programmes.
Leilah Gooding, Jess Harper, Abbie Butcher, and Evie Hards were players in the CSF Under-16 Academy Development Programme (ADP) last season as well as training with the FA Advanced Coaching Centre (ACC).
They join the Canaries alongside former CSF player Gracie Squire and goalkeeper Bryony Williams, both of whom had successful trials.
The ADP is the most advanced of the three tiers of the CSF Football Development Programme, which also includes the Elite Player Development Centre and Player Development Centre and runs for players aged U8 to U16.
The programme is a pathway that exists for boys and girls, aiming to develop individuals on and off the pitch with a number of experiences and exit routes.
The FA’s ACC programme is also delivered by CSF, on behalf of the FA, complementing player development alongside grassroots football and ADP training for players aged U12-U16.
As part of their progression and development, three of the new signings will enrol in the CSF Football & Education Programme for U16s-U18s allowing them to study a Cambridge National Extended Diploma in Sport over a two-year period, alongside an 11-a-side football training and fixture programme.
CSF has also recently launched its own Foundation Degree in Community Football Coaching & Development as a further step on its pathway.
Success stories from the CSF programmes are not limited to those who continue into senior football, but also those that obtain university places both domestically and abroad, as well as apprenticeships or employment with the Foundation itself.
In terms of football progression, the ADP is designed to help players transition into a competitive level of senior football with Norwich City Women or other teams in Norfolk.
Of the new signings, Hards has been involved in CSF programmes from U8s, Harper from U10s, Butcher from U12s, and Gooding from U14s.
Squire was involved from U10 to U14s before leaving but has now returned to sign following an impressive trial.
Norwich City Women kick off the league on Sunday, September 20 away to Cambridge United, and will be playing their home games this season at The Nest. The first home game takes place on Sunday, September 27 at home to Cambridge City (2pm KO).