As the work continues to deliver towards the Goal21 project, The Guernsey Football Association is pleased with the positive progress being made in the first 6 months of the new partnership with Mourant.
At the start of the 2017/18 season, the Guernsey FA and Mourant announced a new three year partnership, with one of Guernsey’s leading firms agreeing to support the GFA Girls Academy, and the Goal21 project to re-introduce a Senior Women’s Representative team at the 2021 Island Games, which is being hosted in Guernsey.
The Mourant Girls Football Academy is inclusive, and accessible, to all girls in School Years 7-11 with a passion for football and a willingness to learn more about the game. Since the start of the new partnership, the GFA has seen improved retention amongst existing players, and also a number of new players that have joined the Academy to increase overall participation. When the new partnership was announced in June 2018, the GFA committed to providing new and enhanced playing and learning opportunities for the Mourant Girls Academy, and has facilitated this commitment through the introduction of a new weekly Futsal session. GFA Women & Girls Development Officer, and Girls Academy Head Coach, Joelle Pengelley, commented:
‘The introduction of the new Futsal sessions has clearly had a positive impact on the Girls Academy and has helped to both retain players and attract new players to the game. When we began the partnership with Mourant, we identified the introduction of an indoor Futsal session as being important in supporting the technical development of the players, which would in turn support their ability to learn and understand the tactical elements of the game. What has been really pleasing to see, is that the girls have embraced and enjoyed the new Futsal sessions to such an extent that we were able to introduce a competitive element to them through a weekly Girls Academy Futsal League. The coaches subsequently drafted 32 girls into four squads, with teams playing against each other on a weekly basis to accumulate points, and the winning team to be announced on Monday 17th December. The teams will then be redrafted and the league repeated in January.’
The Girls Academy also train weekly on Thursday evenings for a grass based session, during which the girls have been enhancing their overall knowledge and application of techniques and tactics required in football and Pengelley added:
‘The girls are using their improving technical skills and training and working hard in order to become what we hope will be future Senior Representative footballers for the 2021 Island Games and thereafter. In order for them to achieve this objective, the Mourant Girls Academy will be going on trips to the UK, Jersey and France to play in structured games and tournaments against new opposition that will enhance their learning. Providing these opportunities is only possible through the specific support of Mourant and we are grateful that this support of the Girls Academy and Goal21 project is providing a great aspiration for all girls with an interest in football to see what is available for them when they progress through the female pathway.’
Mourant Guernsey Managing Partner, Jessica Roland added: "This is an important new partnership for us and we are thrilled and excited to see how, in a relatively short period of time, the opportunities for girls joining the Academy programmes are increasing.
"The GFA and Goal21 initiative represent so much more than sportsmanship and being the best you can be, it represents innovation, community and team spirit by bringing diverse groups and individuals together to compete. It also promotes health and wellbeing through sport, something that is extremely important to us as a firm."
For more information about the Mourant Girls Academy or the Guernsey FA’s Goal21 project, please contact Guernsey FA Women & Girls Development Officer, Joelle Pengelley:
Email - Joelle.firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel – 01481 200443