The English Football Association (FA) has launched the Coaching Excellence Initiative, a women’s football coaching development programme.
The 18-month programme has been designed to develop and connect high-performance coaches in elite women’s football.
14 coaches have been selected for the inaugural programme. Between 14 to 18 coaches will participate in the programme each season with 75 per cent of participants to be female.
The FA said that the Coaching Excellence Initiative would provide a bespoke and high-quality coach development experience.
“The Coaching Excellence Initiative is central to our commitment to see the top coaches in the women’s game become the very best they can, providing them with the development and learning opportunities to achieve their potential and fulfil their ambitions,” Head of Women’s Coach Development at FA, Audrey Cooper said.
“Living well beyond the 18-month course, it will provide the coaches with a support network to share their experiences as they continue in their career.”
“This programme will also support our broader ambition to normalise women in football coaching, shining a light each year on aspirational, relatable and credible female role models for future generations to be inspired by.”
“Whether you are female or male, it’s my belief that there’s never been a more exciting time to be a coach in the women’s game.”
The first edition of the programme began in August 2020 and has featured virtual small group meet-ups and one-to-one mentoring.
Australian football coach and Bristol City manager, Tanya Oxtoby is among the Coaching Excellence Initiative participants.
“I applied to The FA’s CEI programme to continue to develop myself as a manager, network with likeminded people within the women’s game and to challenge my way of thinking,” Oxtoby said.
“The programme has been extremely useful as its focused on skills and qualities which do not normally feature within technical coaching courses.”
“It’s provided me with a network of support in very strange times and it’s changed the way I think about my way of working and how I can reach my own potential moving forward.”
Other participants include England U17 Women’s National Head Coach, Gemma Grainger, Manchester United WSL Academy Manager, Charlotte Healy and Aston Villa WFC Head Coach, Gemma Davies.