Foundation Youngster Hopes for England Success

Thanks to the work of the Leeds United Foundation’s RTC, 12-year-old Katie has shown an impressive amount of commitment and improvement since joining the team at the age of just eight and is already setting her sight on playing for England.

Now in the Under 12s, Katie, who attends Temple Moor High school in Leeds, trains six hours a week – which includes training two hours a weeks with the Under 14s so she can be challenged with a higher age group.

As well as training with the Girls’ Academy Katie’s progress is currently being monitored by the FA to attend their Talent Regional camp during this season.

The RTC aims to support the development of talented young female players by creating a tailored team training programme that develops the players to work towards the highest levels of football for both club and country.

As part of the Leeds United RTC programme players train six hours per week including strength and conditioning, sports psychology and nutrition/lifestyle support.

The U14s and U16s play in the FA Girls England Talent Pathway Tier 1 league which includes Manchester City, Manchester United and Liverpool, whilst the U10s and 12s play against boy’s teams in the Garforth league – a pathway Katie hopes to take part in.

Katie said: I’m so proud to play for the Leeds RTC and hope one day to play for Leeds United Ladies and England Ladies.

I’ve always loved playing sports and started playing football when I was 3. Football has been my favourite sport ever since.

After games, I always think what I could have done better and work on them in the back garden, ready for my next game. I love practising different skills, and to watch my idol Lucy Bronze, to check out some of her moves.

I’ve met Lucy several times and she once gave me one of her England shirts, which was amazing.'

Katie’s parents added: 'Katie always has a football at her feet, not only outside but in the kitchen, in the lounge and even in her bedroom!

 Hopefully, with the great coaching she receives, she can continue to develop and follow her dreams of playing for Leeds United and England Ladies.'

West Riding County FA's Women & Girls Football Development Officer, Steve Conboy, also commented:

'The Leeds United Foundation have done some fantastic work over the last 12 months to improve opportunities for females in the local area, from their work in schools with the Premier League 4 Girls programme, their girls only Skills centres, the creation of a grassroots club in an underrepresented region of the county, their Player Development Shadow squad and finally, their Regional Talent Club (RTC).

Hearing Katie’s news is testament to all the hard work of the Foundation staff and we are delighted to hear her story and wish her all the best in achieving her dream to play for England.'

For any further information on the RTC contact Gary Waddington on 0113 367 6598 or gary.waddington@leedsunited.com.

To find out more about women and girls' football in West Riding, contact Steve Conboy on 01132 821222 (option 3) or steve.conboy@westridingfa.com.