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The PFA and FA's joint Elite Coach Placement Programme gains momentum in the women's game

Fara Williams

The PFA and FA’s joint Elite Coach Placement Programme, which is now entering its third successful season, has now picked up momentum across England teams in the Women’s game.

Rachel Yankey, Fara Williams, Mary Phillip and Coreen Brown will begin season-long coaching placements with England's women’s development teams at St. George’s Park this month, with former England Women head coach Hope Powell providing the opportunity to be mentored during their placements.

England and Arsenal legend Rachel Yankey OBE will join the U19 squad, working with head coach Andy Spence, while head coach Lydia Bedford will have her U18 squad strengthened by former England defender Mary Phillip, who won 65 caps for her country and was the first women’s player to compete in two FIFA Women’s World Cups.

Fara Williams, England’s most capped international, will be embedded with the U17 squad under head coach Gemma Grainger whilst continuing her playing career with Reading. Meanwhile Arsenal Academy coach, Coreen Brown, will work alongside U16 head coach John Salomon. Brown was first part of the programme two seasons ago and was appointed as assistant coach with the former U14 squad.

The participants will be embedded with their respective technical coaching teams, assisting with the delivery of coaching sessions and participating in technical meetings before, during and after each international camp. They are all looking forward to sharing their experience of international football as well as them learning the art and craft of coaching on the international stage.

Earlier this month the four aspiring coaches, who already have their UEFA ‘A’ or ‘B’ licence, met online for their formal induction onto the Elite Coach Placement Programme.

The programme, which is jointly funded by the Professional Footballers’ Association and the FA, was introduced in 2017 to create opportunities for coaches from under-represented groups to work with the England national teams, aiming to build a bigger and more diverse coaching talent pipeline for the future.

The programme is already well-established across England Men’s squads, with alumni including Sol Campbell, Kieron Dyer, Terry Connor and Paul Nevin. A further seven aspiring men's coaches joined the initiative in 2019-20, working with Gareth Southgate, Aidy Boothroyd and age-group coaching teams across the development pathway.


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