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Karen Bardsley becomes the first professional footballer to sit on a County FA’s Board of Directors

23 June 2020

Karen Bardsley becomes the first professional footballer to sit on a County FA’s Board of Directors

Karen Bardsley has been appointed Non-Executive Director for Women & Girls’ Football in Manchester

Karen Bardsley has been appointed Independent Non-Executive Director for Women & Girls’ Football in Manchester - the first professional footballer to sit on a County FA’s Board of Directors.

The Manchester City and England goalkeeper has spoken of her delight at an appointment that will see Karen tasked with helping the continued growth of women’s and girls’ participation.

“I’m so excited to join the board," Karen told Manchester City's club website. "I absolutely can’t wait to get out and visit the players, coaches and volunteers in women and girls’ football in Manchester once the grassroots season kicks off again."

The city already boasts high levels of female participation in girls' and women's football with 213 teams and more than 3,500 female players currently registered with Manchester FA. There are also 49 fully operational Wildcats centres, providing a great opportunity for young girls to play and develop and their football skills.

With such a solid base in place, Karen can't wait to get stuck into the job in hand.

“Alongside playing with City, I’m so excited to now focus on increasing participation numbers of women and girls’ playing football in Manchester," she added. "It’s something that is very close to my heart and I really do believe that women and girls’ football has a bright future here.

“From my work with the Manchester FA so far, I know that younger girls are at the forefront of that too, with Wildcats centres proving to be a brilliant way of introducing girls of a primary school age into football, and I can’t wait to help that community to develop and grow.”

Manchester FA’s CEO, Colin Bridgford added: “Having someone of Karen’s experience is tremendous news for women and girls’ football in Manchester. Her knowledge of women’s football is second-to-none."

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