Fleetwood Town, in partnership with Rossall School, are delighted to announce the launch of a brand-new Girls' Elite Football partnership, backed by England Lioness and Chelsea defender Millie Bright.
Rossall has enjoyed a collaborative partnership with the club since early 2017 when the boys’ elite football programme was established. The success of this programme has been quite extraordinary, with membership of the programme growing from three pupils to nearly forty pupils, who are selected from over twenty countries internationally.
The programme has now expanded to include the senior girls’ programme, which Millie will be supporting. From September 2021, this will run alongside a new junior programme for both girls and boys. Both Rossall and Fleetwood are committed to building upon the success of the existing Football Development Programme, which provides elite coaching, outstanding training facilities, and competitive fixtures against leading academy teams from across the UK and beyond.
The very best national and international footballers from countries including South Africa, Germany, Australia, Mexico, Thailand, Ukraine and Ecuador travel to the School to enjoy an outstanding education from a leading independent school, alongside a world-class football training programme with coaching and facilities provided by Fleetwood Town.
To coincide with the September 2021 launch of the Elite Football Programme for Girls, there will be a number of scholarships and means-tested bursaries (up to 100%) available; and this will include the very first ever Millie Bright Football Scholarship.
The girls within this programme will have the opportunity to play with the full Fleetwood Town Academy teams including the Fleetwood Wrens, and against many of the leading youth teams in the North of England.
Millie Bright, England Lioness, Chelsea Defender and Ambassador for the Girls’ Programme said: “It’s a huge honour to be asked by Rossall to become an ambassador for the new girls’ football programme.
“I am really excited that they are offering scholarships for talented and hard-working girl players. I am where I am today through my work ethic and I would encourage everyone to follow their journey and dreams like I did mine through hard work, commitment and passion for the game.”
Jeremy Quartermain, the Headmaster at Rossall, added: “Following on from the fantastic success of our boys' programme, we are delighted to be launching our girls' programme. It is no secret that Rossall is performing superbly well on all fronts - both academically and in terms of its sporting success.
“This programme will attract aspirant and hardworking girls who are committed to excelling both on and off the pitch. The opportunity to blend world-class coaching with outstanding teaching is about as exciting as it gets.
“The strength of this partnership has enabled us to offer a programme that is unique in terms of both its resourcing and ambition. We are especially pleased that Millie is on board as she serves as an excellent role model for those wishing to make their way in the game.”
Fleetwood Town head coach and former Premier League footballer, Joey Barton, said: “I’ve been to Rossall personally and seen the facilities and the hard work which goes into providing students with a top-class education. From a football perspective, we are able to offer an elite level of facilities and coaching at Fleetwood Town, and together the two seem the perfect fit.
“There’s a real synergy between the two organisations, and this is a unique opportunity for both to provide a pathway for students into football.
“We are lucky on the Fylde coast to have an exciting professional football club, and one of the most outstanding schools in the country. And this programme is an exciting addition."
Steve Curwood, Fleetwood Town CEO, added: “Rossall and Fleetwood Town are natural partners and I’m delighted the relationship between the two continues to flourish.
“The programme has grown from strength-to-strength and we are always looking ahead at new ways to develop pathways for young people in the world of football.
“At Fleetwood Town, we have world-class facilitates and elite-level coaches, that added to Rossall’s impeccable standards and reputation creates a very special football programme we are all proud of."
James Ward, Fleetwood Town’s International Partnerships manager said: “The girls' programme is something we are super excited about having worked on it for a number of years now. There’s a real desire for this from around the world and we are delighted to launch it today.”