Aberdeen Football Club is pleased to announce the launch of its first ever Aberdeen FC Girls Academy programme.

With the continued development of Aberdeen FC Women at the heart of the club’s growth strategy, the club will now integrate girl’s teams at U18s and U16s (from January 2024) and U14s (from June 2024) to ensure girls football in the region can maintain pace with the changing standards across girls’ football in Scotland. The teams will compete in the Scottish FA’s National Academy Programme for girls.

This development will also solidify a visible pathway to first team football at Aberdeen FC, further enabling AFC to support the continued development of the girls’ game in the North-east.

The club took the historic move to establish a senior women’s side in 2018 with the team subsequently returning to SWPL1 after back-to-back promotion and they have since consolidated their place in the league. A number of Aberdeen FC Women have also turned semi-professional since 2022 with more due to commit to the club from January 2024.

“Following significant changes in the women’s and girl’s football landscape within Scotland over the past 12 months, including the SWPL league structure now operating under the SPFL umbrella, and the introduction of new criteria for girls’ development football to drive up standards by the Scottish FA, the club believes it is the right time to launch the girl’s academy”, said Director of Football, Steven Gunn.

“Over two thirds of our engagement of new players into the AFCW first team has come from AFC Ladies U18s and our partnership with AFC Ladies and this milestone move will further align us with the club’s philosophy of developing young talent and providing opportunity for all.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Aberdeen Ladies for their support, in particular, Hazel Reid (Chairperson) and her committee members, Louise Walker (Vice Chairperson) and James Low (Secretary). They have an impressive infrastructure in place at Aberdeen Ladies which I am sure will assist with a smooth integration of our new teams.”

Hazel Reid (Aberdeen FC Ladies Chairperson), James Low (Aberdeen FC Ladies Secretary), Aimee Black (AFC Women), Steven Gunn (AFC Director of Football), Eilidh Shore (AFC Women) and Clint Lancaster (AFC Women Manager)

Hazel Reid (Aberdeen FC Ladies Chairperson), James Low (Aberdeen FC Ladies Secretary), Aimee Black (AFC Women), Steven Gunn (AFC Director of Football), Eilidh Shore (AFC Women) and Clint Lancaster (AFC Women Manager)

Hazel Reid, Aberdeen FC Ladies Chairperson said: “Aberdeen FC Ladies are delighted that our National Academy Performance players at U16s and U18s are to have the opportunity to become integrated within an Academy programme at Aberdeen FC.

“As the women’s game continues to grow, and due to the enhanced criteria set for all Elite Performance Clubs by the SFA for season 2024 and beyond, it became apparent that the players and coaches would require a level of support which we would be unable to provide as a grassroots club and this led to our decision to approach Aberdeen FC.

“We would like to acknowledge the many volunteers involved over the past 6 years who have invested their time and commitment in establishing and maintaining an Elite Performance level of football within a grassroots club.

“However, now is the right time for the Performance pathway to evolve and we recognise that the continued development of our ‘future stars’ lies with Aberdeen FC.

“We wish all the players the very best in their future footballing journey.”

As preparations begin to make the new Academy programme operational, the club are welcoming applications for the following positions:

  • U18s coach (minimum UEFA C Licence qualified or working towards)
  • U16s coach (minimum SFA 1.3 Youth/Adult qualified)
  • Sessional and Matchday Physiotherapy support (HCPC registered)

Interested candidates can email emma.flett@afc.co.uk for further details.

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