Bath College has chosen football manager Charlie Griffin to coach teenagers joining its new women’s academy in September.
The academy, in partnership with Bath City FC, will help to meet an increasing demand for women’s football from young players in the past few years.
Charlie, who is manager at Cirencester Town, has been coaching at the Bath City Community Sports Foundation for over six years.
Charlie Griffin with Alex Gaiger (Deputy Head of Department for Sport, Leisure and Care) and Dan Bowman, football coach at Bath City Community Sports Foundation
He began playing professional football at a young age and his CV includes playing for Swindon, Wickham, Stevenage and Bath City.
The former striker said: “At the Bath City Community Sports Foundation, we’ve built up the girls’ football team and we’ve seen it grow over the years.
“This programme will be different for the players. To start with they might ache a bit, but we’re there to help them move up a level and improve them as a footballer.
Football players at an open training session for the women’s academy, at Odd Down Playing Fields
“This is a great opportunity to work with the college, and for these girls it gives them a real focus. If they can look to the world cup and the England women’s team, and see a progression route, that helps to inspire them.
“I started off at four-years-old kicking a ball around. I was at the Bristol Rovers academy until I was 16, when I was released, but I never gave up and worked hard to get signed for Swindon.
“That’s what I tell the girls who train with us, never give up and that determination will pay off. We would love one of these girls to play in the women’s premier league one day, because the talent is out there.”
Sam Spong, sports student Ellie, and Paul Blenkinsopp (from Bath College).
Players training at the academy, which is unique to Bath, will train three times a week at the Bath College gym and Odd Down Sports Ground.
They will play matches on Wednesday as part of the ECFA (English Colleges Football Association) and will study for a Level 2 or Level 3 BTEC in sport.
Lecturer in sport, Paul Blenkinsopp, said: “It is great for the college to have Charlie leading the coaching of our new women’s football academy.
“He not only brings a vast knowledge from the men’s professional game, but has been coaching girls for five to six years as part of his role at the Bath City Community Sports Foundation. This knowledge and understanding of women’s football will be vital for our first year, but also as we look to grow and strengthen the programme over the coming years.
“There are still places available on the women’s academy and I encourage anyone who is interested to contact me for more information.”
To find out about the women’s football academy, register online, call (01225) 312191 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.