#WhatIf APD looked for sixth forms and colleges to set up a new football education programme for girls aged 16-18?

13 August 2019

#WhatIf APD looked for sixth forms and colleges to set up a new football education programme for girls aged 16-18?

Time to celebrate another fantastic #WhatIf pledge as APD come up with a great opportunity for girls aged 16-18

It's tough for many young female players to train, play football and study for their A-Levels or BTECs; there are few academies or opportunities at colleges set up for young women players, and that means talent is often lost as girls have to make a choice between playing the game they love and their studies.

Advanced Player Development (APD) wants to put this right. So much so that it has made an exciting new pledge to Women in Football’s #WhatIf campaign:

#WhatIf APD launched a new football education programme in September 2020, in partnership with a local sixth form or college, giving even more 16-18 year old girls a chance to train full time as football players – and get a fantastic education, too?

APD’s incredible pledge is aimed at sixth forms and colleges in south-east London and Kent, and will ensure that 16-18 year old girls can study as they train and play.

APD works closely with colleges to ensure the young women on the programme receive high-quality coaching and training as well as working hard at their studies to ensure they are fully prepared for life both on and off the pitch.

And this pledge will be the first time APD has set up a course specifically focused on girls, which makes it even more exciting.

Managed by Northern Ireland internationals Ciara Watling and Rachel Newborough, APD is keen to ensure the girls they work with get all the opportunities they can from the college they choose to study and play at.

Rachel, who is Business Development Manager at APD, says: "We are looking for sixth forms and colleges based in south-east London or Kent to partner with us and set up a football education programme for girls ages 16-18.

"Our highly qualified coaches will run the programme at the college. The girls will study either BTECs and A Levels at the college and train every morning as well as be entered in a league with fixtures every Wednesday.

“We are pledging to #WhatIf because myself and APD’s Operations Director Ciara were fortunate enough to gain an education and manage to play football to a high level. However, unlike our male counterparts we were never given the opportunity to train full time whilst getting an education.

"By APD finding more partners, we can offer more girls the opportunity to gain a top education whilst not missing out on improving their game, to get to the highest level."

Jane Purdon, CEO at Women in Football, commented: “This is a fantastic new pledge from APD, which will allow even more young women to play and study – which is the foundation for new talent to emerge. This is yet another example of how Women in Football and #WhatIf can really change the landscape through these incredible pledges.”

If you’re a sixth form or college based in Kent or south east London, who is interested in partnering with APD in setting up a new football education programme, then please get in touch by emailing Rachel via 

If you would like to find out more about #WhatIf please email

Share this article

© Women in Football 2020

Site design by WildWest | Site map | Privacy policy | Cookie policy | Terms and Conditions

We use cookies to help us make this website better. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies from this site.