Ipswich footballer is broken hearted at closure of Norwich City girls’ football academy
A teenager from Ipswich has been left heartbroken after it was revealed that Norwich’s centre of excellence for girls’ football will close.
The centre, which helps talented girls up to the age of 17 develop their football skills, will lose its licence at the end of the current season because of an FA restructure.
In a letter, Ellie Bird, who travels from Ipswich twice a week, said the decision had “broken the hearts of all the girls at Norwich City”.
The 15-year-old, who attends Kesgrave High School, wrote: “The Centre of Excellence does not only help me improve as a footballer, it also improves my social skills, my confidence and I have also built some very strong friendships.
“Taking away our Centre of Excellence has deprived us of the quality coaching we receive and has knocked everyone back in our dreams and ambitions to play to the highest level of football possible.”
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As part of the restructure, the Norwich City Girls’ Centre of Excellence will become an Advanced Coaching Centre, and will introduce the first ever East Region’s Girls’ Centre of Excellence.
In a letter sent to players and parents, Kay Cossington, national development manager for girls and women’s elite player pathway, said every decision had been made with the player’s development being top priority. She added: “We are confident that this pathway will result in positive change.”
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More than 3,300 people have now joined the Facebook page Save Norwich City Girls Centre of Excellence.