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The West Riding Girls Football League is proud to have its very own FA Future Lionesses Goalkeeping Centre. The Centre is one of 11 Centres up and down the Country. The West Riding Centre along with the other 10 Centres are part of the England Talent Pathway feeding the most talented goalkeepers into the National Team set-up, starting at U15's. We want to unearth the next Mary Earps...

The FA Future Lionesses Goalkeeping Centre (West Riding) has a High Performance Centre to which the most talented goalkeepers in the West Riding are invited. The Centre can accommodate up to 18 goalkeepers. The goalkeepers who attend the High Performance Centre are coached by dedicated goalkeeper coaches. We are fortunate in the West Riding that our Centre Lead Coach is Carl Kennedy who coaches within the National set-up with our U15 Lionesses Squad, Carl is also the Sheffield United Ladies lead goalkeeping coach.


The FA Future Liondesses Centre (West Riding) also runs a grassroots goalkeeping centre. The centre is there to give grassroots goalkeepers in the West Riding the opportunity to attend a dedicated goalkeeping centre and get quality coaching over a 35 week programme (7 blocks of 5 weeks duration each).


There is also a Satelitte Centre for our youngest goalkeepers, the centre is there to give girls interested in goalkeeping an introduction to the requirements of being a number 1. The Satellite Centre runs the programme over 18 weeks (4 blocks of 4 weeks duration each). There are also 2 consolidation sessions right at the end of the programme.

Goalkeepers in the West Riding are very fortunate to have the three centres, which, hopefully, one day will have produced a future Lionesses number 1!

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Lionesses welcome the country’s next generation of goalkeepers to St George’s Park

Youngsters from the Future Lioness Goalkeeping Centres meet England goalkeepers and have the chance to train at St. George’s Park

Ahead of the next fixtures in their UEFA Women’s Nations League campaign, the England women’s senior team hosted the country’s next generation of female goalkeepers at St George’s Park.

St. George’s Park welcomed 103 budding goalkeepers aged between 10 and 16 for the day, aimed at celebrating the future of the goalkeeper position and its importance.

As well as watching the squad train, the girls were given a taste of what it’s like to be a Lioness as they took part in their own training sessions on the same pitches used by the England teams.

The aspiring goalkeepers also had the chance to speak with their idols, as they were joined by the four senior Lioness goalkeepers – Mary EarpsHannah HamptonKhiara Keating and Ellie Roebuck – for a meet and greet and Q&A session.

The girls invited to St George’s Park all attend Future Lioness Goalkeeping Centres, which were established by The FA to improve the goalkeeping talent pathway and to ensure the next generation of No.1s have everything they need to feel supported on their journey in the game.

There are 11 Future Goalkeeping Centres across the country, ten of which operate out of the Women’s High Performance Football Centres at leading universities, with an additional centre delivered by West Riding County FA.

The Future Lioness Goalkeeping Centres offer a specialised support programme to female goalkeepers with talent and potential, to help with their development on the path to potentially playing for England one day.

Girls who are part of the centres can still register and play competitively for their club team; the centres simply provide an additional unique experience once a week that connects them to the England talent pathway.

The Future Lioness Goalkeeping Centres also provide coach development opportunities for aspiring coaches with the aim of developing a goalkeeping coach workforce for all levels of the women’s game.

Jamie Annerson, The FA’s women's goalkeeping pathway lead, said: “The Future Lioness Goalkeeping Centres are a hugely important part of our talent pathway to show to every young girl that if they have a dream to play in goal professionally, they have a system in place to support them.

“Through their achievements in successive tournaments, the Lionesses have inspired a whole generation to play football, and that’s certainly being reflected in the demand for our centres from girls wanting to play as goalkeepers.”

Talking of the day, Earps said: “Goalkeeping isn’t always a position that’s focused on so to have the opportunity to bring everyone together – us the current Lionesses goalkeepers with the next generation – is incredibly special.

“I hope the girls made some memories that they’ll take with them for life. It’s hugely important the next generation has role models and can see other women and goalkeepers living out their dreams. It shows them that the pathway is there and that they too can go on to be professional and achieve their dreams.”

Roebuck added: “We’re really privileged to be able to inspire the next generation. It’s something we as a team take really seriously.

“As a young player, I’d have loved to play at one of these centres and be able to be a part of a day like today. I was fortunate enough to have goalkeeping coaches throughout my career, but I know that wasn’t the case for the generation before me.

“It’s brilliant this next generation has these facilities in place and they will be able to go on to perform to even higher levels.”

To find out more about the Women’s High Performance Centres, visit the England Football Learning website.

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