Dartford to launch groundbreaking Ladies Academy at Princes Park
DARTFORD are on the verge of launching a Ladies Academy at Princes Park.
Over the last two years the Vanarama National League South club has set up a thriving girls section within their pre-Academy.
The club now have under 13s to under 16 squads and this is underpinned with funding from the Kent County Council, where in partnership with local schools they are recruiting, training and providing an exit point into the club’s pre-Academy, for local girl footballers.
Having established a Post 16 (sixth-form) educational pathway to A-levels for boys this academic year with The Leigh Academy, the club are establishing the same for their girls and for those who wish to join the scheme.
Girls will be able to take combinations of BTEC and A Level qualifications, whilst training and developing as a footballer for Dartford FC, who yesterday celebrated their ninth anniversary at Princes Park Stadium.
“This sets Dartford FC apart from all other Non-League clubs in our region and only our professional colleagues offer anything similar to this fantastic opportunity for young women, aspiring to play at the highest levels in the game,” said a club statement.
“We will be looking to recruit 24 players for the girls Academy this year and together with some older players that we will also be recruiting, they will represent Dartford FC as our first home-grown Ladies first team.
“One of our coaching staff members Katy Galloway is one of the first to be recruited into the squad. A former Charlton Athletic Girls player, she will provide the kind of experience and support the young Academy players will need.”
Steve Irving, the club’s chairman told www.dartfordfconline.com: “The addition of a girls Academy and Ladies first team is such an exciting development and will complete our player pathway for both boys and girls. It will also enhance our ambition to become a truly great community club.”
The new Ladies first team squad will be entering the South East Counties Women’s Football League and will play their home games on the Community pitch at Princes Park on Sunday afternoons.
“We hope that our fans will provide the kind of fantastic support that they do to our current first team squad by coming along to cheer them on,” added the statement.
“We hope to be making the Community pitch a smaller stadium atmosphere over the next 6-12 months with the addition of a stand, railings and a covered area – a great place to come and support our youth teams and the Dartford FC Ladies.”
Visit Dartford’s website: www.dartfordfconline.com