The Girl’s Player Development Programme here in Suffolk is one of the fastest growing programmes at the RDP and moving from strength to strength. This season has seen a number of developments and exciting opportunities take place, during previous half-terms some of our Elite Player Development Centre girls were lucky enough to take part in fixtures against Ipswich Town, Plymouth argyle, West Bromwich Albion and Norwich City CSF in collaboration with our Cambridgeshire Girl’s Elite PDC.
February half-term saw our first ever Girl’s Only Development Camp take place at Kesgrave High, the day was a huge success and welcomed over 30 girls featuring a lot of new faces as well as some of our Girl’s Elite PDC. Every girl involved on the day gave maximum effort and engaged in a range of activities including footgolf, crossbar challenges and matches. In addition to this, half-term was rounded off on the Friday evening with our first girl’s open trial night for the season. With over 20 girls in attendance, we welcomed an exciting level of talent with a view to joining our brand new Player Development Centre opening in September 2020 as well as some new additions to our Elite PDC.
Throughout the season our team of coaches have been delivering girl’s only sessions to a number of local schools. These sessions work on a range of fundamental skills and movements aiming to give more girls the opportunity to participate in football in a safe and progressive environment whilst hopefully increasing participation rates across all parts of Suffolk. This includes our brand new girl’s after school club at Brooklands Primary, as well as visits to Lawford Primary, Fressingfield and Gorseland this month.
This is an exciting time for the girl’s programme here in Suffolk as we look to continue to grow and offer new opportunities in the local community as well as within our Elite PDC, which has more than tripled in size since the beginning of the season. The centre would not have been able to reap the success it has without the hard work of coaches Mark and Liam, who’s commitment has been unwavering as has the quality of their sessions.
The future Is bright for the girl’s game as a whole and this is definitely the case in Suffolk with the Norwich City RDP too. Our Elite PDC have scheduled fixtures against West Ham United and our partners at the Norwich City Cambridgeshire RDP Elite PDC which is due to be our first time hosting fixtures with our own Suffolk RDP squads. Furthermore, some of our Elite PDC girls will be heading to Newcastle on tour in collaboration with the Cambridgeshire Elite PDC. During the tour we will be playing against Sunderland as well as Middlesbrough and visiting the stadium of light in what is set to be a great 4 days.
We will also look to hold future girl’s only football camps after the huge success of these in February, which will provide further engagement and learning for local girls and helping to grow the girls game here in Suffolk community. With the opening of the new PDC in September we will endeavour to provide more opportunities for girls of a range of experience levels and abilities who are looking to learn new techniques and skills.
Every girl within our Elite PDC has developed this season in their technique, skills and ability but most importantly as fantastic young people who continue to impress myself as well as our team of coaches in what they are capable of at each session.
Keep up the good work!
Girls & Women’s Development Coordinator – Suffolk