In its inaugural season the Tuggeranong United Girls Academy is flourishing and the club is very excited about the long term development of its junior girls players. The Girls Academy encompasses girls from the ages of under 10 to 16 and has been set up to provide a pathway into the Women’s Premier League Program, as well as provide community football opportunities for all players.
“It’s a program that sees all Tuggeranong girls receive the best training possible in a structured and consistent manner giving all girls an opportunity to reach their full potential.,” Mathew Byrne, Head Coach of the Academy, commented. “The program provides an excellent platform for all players to express themselves and develop at a pace that suits their individual development”.
The introduction of the Girls Academy has given the club an opportunity to incorporate a mentor program between the junior players and Women's Premier League players. Last week WPL captain Meg McLaughlin attended Academy training, shared her footballing story with the girls and helped them with a training session.
“We strongly encourage the senior girls to come along and support the younger girls,” WPL Head Coach Michael Aldred said. "It's great to see players such as Meg come down to trainings and it shows all players in the club what can be achieved."
Aldred is delighted to see the first steps in his vision of the south side club becoming one of the leaders in the woman’s game in Canberra take shape.
“We have a vision and plan that will over time produce and encourage girls to play WPL and reach their full potential. We have already seen an increase of young girls wanting to come and play for Tuggeranong. Hopefully as the word spreads throughout the Canberra community of the positive plans and structures we have in place we can see a further increase in numbers and the quality of players the club will attract over the coming years to help us achieve our vision of being a leader of the Woman’s game within Canberra."
Club President, Jon Thiele, reaffirmed the clubs commitment to developing players and helping the Academy achieve its motto of ‘the journey continues’.
"We have a strong commitment to player development at Tuggeranong United and this program, whilst still in its infancy, will do much to assist that. I look forward to seeing our current crop of girls coming through this academy system and one playing first grade for Tuggeranong and maybe even Canberra United."