General view of corner Durham Women flag Durham Women v Lewes Women, Womens Championship football match, New Ferens Park, Durham, UK - 13 Sep 2020 Photo: Richard Lee for The FA

Durham announce new Youth Development Programme partnership

FA Women’s Championship promotion hopefuls Durham have announced a new Youth Development Programme partnership.

The Wildcats have a good record when it comes to developing young talent and their opportunity to work with the stars of tomorrow will now be increased with the club having agreed a new Youth Development Programme partnership with a nearby secondary school in Houghton-le-Spring.

Durham issued a press release to FAWSL Full-Time earlier this morning confirming that they have agreed a partnership with Kepier School. The arrangement will start from the new academic year and will give students the opportunity to train alongside their studies. Students will receive specialised coaching alongside a structured timetable of lessons with the aim of becoming a part of Durham’s dual-career pathway. The programme will aim to offer the students five sessions of coaching per week within school hours, with training sessions scheduled so as not to affect core subjects.

Speaking about the deal, Pathway and Development Manager Maddy Wood said “We are delighted to be working with Kepier moving forward.

“The club already has an established dual-career pathway with three Further Education partners (Durham Sixth Form Centre, Bede Sixth Form and Newcastle College) as well as a direct route into Higher Education with Durham University.

“After some consultation and the enthusiasm shown by Kepier to develop a similar programme for younger players, we see this as a crucial part of our pathway as it develops.

“Engaging with youth players in their educational setting and exposing them to the opportunities available to them both on and off the pitch is a key priority for the club, and we believe this partnership gives us a great opportunity to do that.”

Year 6 and Year 7 students at Kepier School have been invited to apply to attend Easter trials ahead of the proposed start date of the programme early in the 2021/2022 school year.

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