Women. Foundation inspire next generation with Newcastle United Women on International Women's Day

08 Mar 23

Young women and girls aspiring towards a future in football with Newcastle United Foundation have learned "the sky's the limit" while meeting their heroes from Newcastle United Women

To mark International Women's Day, the Magpies' Daisy Burt and Cara Milne-Redhead created an inspirational training session for players involved in the Foundation's Emerging Talent Centre.

Launched this season, Newcastle United Foundation's Emerging Talent Centre (ETC) provides development opportunities for under-nine, under-ten, under-11 and under-12 girls building on their involvement with grassroots clubs and creating a talent pathway to play for Newcastle United Women or the home nations.

Burt and Milne-Redhead saw first-hand how the next generation are gearing up towards a career in women's football at an ETC training session on the rooftop pitch at the Foundation's community facility, NUCASTLE, powered by Newcastle Building Society.

United full-back Burt, who was last month called up to the England under-18s squad, said: "It's amazing to see the opportunities available for girls and young women to get involved in football today - the women's game has changed so much, even since I was growing up and playing, which is exactly what's needed.

"I have so much pride playing for Newcastle United Women and it's an honour for me to wear the badge every time I walk out onto the pitch. I know the girls here will have the same dreams as I did at their age - to wear the badge and play at St. James' Park.

"It's an honour to stand here and prove the sky's the limit to these girls as someone who has grown up to play for Newcastle United Women and wearing the badge at St. James' Park."

As part of the session, Burt and Milne-Redhead answered questions from the under-nines girls training - sharing advice, who their own footballing heroes were growing up and what it was like to play at Newcastle United's home ground.

The club confirmed on International Women's Day that Newcastle United Women will play their final home game of the season at St. James' Park, taking on Bradford City Women in the FA Women's National League Division One North on Sunday, April 16th (kick-off 2pm BST).

Among the current women's squad, forward Katie Barker and winger Erin Nelson both began their careers through the Foundation's Football Development programmes while former skipper Brooke Cochrane now leads weekly ETC training at NUCASTLE and Druid Park as a full-time Foundation coach.

Lisa Bell, Inclusion Manager at Newcastle United Foundation, said: "We have great ambitions for our Emerging Talent Centre and to increase the opportunities for young women and girls to play and enjoy sport.

"The purpose of the ETC is to identify and develop players of the future by providing local and accessible high-quality training environments. Through the programme, we aim to double the number of girls in the system and ensure any young player with talent can access the ETC within an hour's drive from their home.

"We also want to double the number of training environments that young players can access and increase the quality and diversity of players who progress through the pathway.

"We are making good progress towards levelling the field, but it is important to recognise there is still room for more to be done. It is especially significant on days like International Women's Day, where we can celebrate success but also look at what we can improve for future generations."

Alongside the ETC for players already playing in grassroots clubs, the Foundation offers free opportunities for women and girls to enjoy football and professional coaching through Premier League Kicks and Inspires, after-school clubs, football festivals, disability coaching sessions and more.

Milne-Redhead, who has represented Scotland at youth level and signed for Newcastle earlier this year, recalled how she could only play the sport she loved by joining in with boys' teams in her childhood.

She said: "There were no opportunities for me to join a women's or girls' team or club nearby and the only way to play was to get involved through the boys' pathway.

"It makes me so proud that girls now have the opportunity to play at whatever ability or level they want to without the limitations or barriers many of us playing today had to face."

The girls' Emerging Talent Centre sits within The FA Women's Talent Pathway and works closely with the Discover My Talent referral scheme to create an accessible and inclusive women's England talent pathway.

Trial dates for the 2023/24 Emerging Talent Centre will be confirmed by the ETC team shortly and shared across Newcastle United Foundation and Newcastle United Women's social media channels.

Related Content