Lionesses Pay Surprise Visit to Talent ID Event at Gunnersbury Park
Players visit Discover My Talent day as they prepare for the Australia game at the Gtech Community Stadium on Tuesday night.
On Saturday the Trust welcomed the England Women’s squad to Gunnersbury Park Sports Hub as they paid a surprise visit to see the next generation of aspiring Lionesses put through their paces.
The players and technical staff joined more than 100 girls aged between 12–15 on Saturday morning as they participated in a Discover My Talent showcase event.
Discover My Talent was launched in August 2021 and is a key part of England Football’s approach to identifying and developing talented female players. The programme works to identify talent for the England talent pathway and development teams regardless of their geographical location, background, or community.
The players aiming to impress the FA’s talent staff had been nominated across multiple playing environments, including grassroots clubs, schools and community environments, and the Trust’s Emerging Talent Centre.
As the players were put through their paces, the shock and excitement took over as the Lionesses joined the session. The England stars gave coaching tips and advice to the aspiring stars whilst also taking a selfie or two and signing numerous items.
Kay Cossington, FA’s Women’s Technical Director, said, “Discover My Talent is an integral part of our work to make our game more diverse, inclusive, accessible and more reflective of wider society.
“Every player’s journey is uniquely different and our aspiration with this programme is to help address some of the historic challenges many have faced when accessing the game. Our ask is simple if you see a talented young female player in any environment in any part of the country, then refer them and they will be assessed. We’re already seeing players from all backgrounds nominated as part of Discover My Talent play a key part in our England development teams.”
Amber Lloyd, Female Football Development Manager at Brentford FC Community Sports Trust, added, “What an event to be part of, it has been great working closely with the FA to implement the best-kept secret. Seeing the girls’ faces as the Lionesses walked onto the pitch is a moment I will never forget.
“It was so inspiring to have the Lionesses attend the session and help spot the local talent within the groups. We have worked closely with Discover My Talent to help make the game more diverse, inclusive and accessible for young girls in the local area.
“At Brentford FC Community Sports Trust, we have been able to create a unique player pathway for our participants to see the next step into the game, our coaches work closely with all the players to help them develop across every aspect of the game. I am so thankful for the Lionesses to come down to our Talent ID event and inspire the next generation of footballers.”
Leah Williamson, England captain said, “It is important girls know there is a ladder to climb to where they want to go to. The easiest way to see yourself achieving your dream is to know how to get there and the Discover My Talent programme will hopefully really help them.
“The talent that would have perhaps previously gone unnoticed in the women’s game, because no one was looking for it, will hopefully be the next step in increasing accessibility and diversity, making sure we are reaching everyone who has talent and not just those who are fortunate enough to get into places to show it.”