FOOTBALL: AN IMPRESSIVE start to the 2016/17 season continued for Solihull College and University Centre’s Ladies Football Academy as they advanced to the next round of the English Schools FA Cup.
Ran in partnership with Birmingham City Ladies FC, the academy team are undefeated this season both in the league and cup fixtures.
The ladies have now reached the last 16 of the tournament and hope to continue their dominant run of form which has seen the side develop their skills both on and off-pitch.
The academy’s development team are also experiencing similar success following a 3-2 win against Hartpury and a 7-1 win over Hereford Sixth Form.
Since forming, the academy has produced a collection of successful players with many featuring for Birmingham City Ladies FC and some even making their England debuts, including Sophie Baggaley.
Academy player Syndee Lowe said the squad can only get better and she’s enjoyed the start to the season.
She added: “I want to improve my performance in football and make friends with similar interests as me.
“My favourite thing about being in the football academy is having people with a deep knowledge and understanding of the sport to help me develop.”
Distance-traveller Amelia-Jane Longmore-Price chose the college as her place of study to advance her footballing knowledge, despite having to catch a bus, tram and train to access the facilities.
She said: “Coming to the college has provided me with a chance to play high level football alongside some excellent and incredibly friendly players and coaches.
“Having come to this college for the support given behind female football, I believe the opportunity to play is worth the long distance my journey entails to get to college.
“Playing for this team has not only made me more determined to succeed in football but it also inspires me to succeed in my studies, balancing the needs for both well.”
The academy is managed by BCLFC first team manager, David Parker and the College’s Louis Sowe manages the up and coming development squad.
Louis said: “This is the second year we have run a development women’s team to allow all abilities to attend and have the opportunity of playing competitive football.
“We’ve started the season unbeaten, playing probably two of the most difficult sides in the league.
“I think it’s important for people to recognise that we have a very successful Birmingham City Ladies Academy team but we also have a successful development team that we plan to grow and improve each season.”