FA National Youth Cup Final
Congratulations to the Arsenal Ladies Centre of Excellence U17 squad for winning the FA National Youth Cup in the final at Stratford Town F.C. on Sunday 31st May 2015.

A goal in each half from Rianna Dean clinched victory against Aston Villa, the same opponents Arsenal had faced in the FA Cup final at Wembley the day before.

Regional Talent Club Trials - 2016/17
Next season (2016/17) the FA will be replacing FA Centres of Excellence for Girls with FA Regional Talent Clubs for Girls. The concepts will be similar, but there will be three tiers of Regional Talent Club and Arsenal Ladies Football Club is in the process of applying to become a Tier 1 Club, which is the very top tier.

Applications to trial for the Arsenal Ladies Tier 1 Regional Talent Club (RTC)  for the 2016/17 season are now being accepted. Any places offered with the RTC are dependent on Arsenal Ladies Football Club receiving an FA License to operate as an RTC for the 2016/2017 season.  Please click here to download the application form and then carefully follow the instructions on the form.

As part of the changes for next season, the FA are also altering the eligible age groups and the FA cut off dates for the new age groups will also move from 1st January to 1st September each year to align with school years.

As a result, there will be no U9 or U17 age groups from next season, so under FA direction we can only offer places in the following age groups: 

U10s - Players born from 1st September 2006 -31st August 2008

U12s - Players born from 1st September 2004 - 31st August 2006

U14s - Players born from 1st September 2002 - 31st August 2004

U16s - Players born from 1st September 2000 - 31st August 2002

Our trials will be held in June 2016 and to apply you must meet all these criteria: 

  • You must have been born between 1st September 2000 and 31st August 2008
  • Your home postcode must be within a 1 hour 30 minute travel time of our RTC base at AL2 1DR
  • You must have an English Parent or an English Grandparent or you must have been educated in England for at least 5 consecutive years.

Job Opportunities
The 80 elite female players in our Centre of Excellence attend high quality coaching sessions which take place on Tuesday and Thursday evenings throughout the school term. Matches take place on Saturdays.

We look for well qualified ambitious, enthusiastic and deeply committed Outfield Coaches and Goal Keeper Coaches as well as Physios, Sports Therapists, Strength and Conditioning Coaches and Nutritionists.

Current vacancies within the Centre of Excellence may be found at

Arsenal Ladies Centre of Excellence
In 1997 The Football Association launched a Talent Development Plan for Women's Football, as part of The FA Charter for Quality. The Plan aimed to provide a sound structure for the development of elite talent in the female game.

An integral part of this Plan was the establishment and development of opportunities for elite girls aged 9 to 17 through "Centres of Excellence."

The purpose of the Arsenal Ladies Centres of Excellence is to identify female players of outstanding ability and place them in a technical and educational programme that is designed to produce excellent players and well balanced young people.

At Arsenal Ladies FC, this part of the pathway enables girls up to the age of 17 to play football at elite level.

England International Alex Scott was 8 when she joined the Centre of Excellence
England International Alex Scott was 8 when she joined the Centre of Excellence

First team player Vyan Sampson played for the Centre of Excellence as a youngster
First team player Vyan Sampson played for the Centre of Excellence as a youngster

Those outfield players who are successful have twice weekly coaching from our highly qualified, experienced coaches while goalkeepers receive specific goalkeeping instruction from our two specialist goalkeeping coaches.

At Arsenal, each player follows a detailed Technical and Physical Programme that is specifically tailored for the five different age groups.

Responsibility for the delivery of the programme rests with Technical Director John Bayer, an UEFA ‘A' Licence coach The Technical Director holds the FA Academy Managers Licence, the FA Talent Identification Award and the FA Youth Award. He is also an FA Coach Educator and an FA Generic Tutor Training Tutor.

The Technical Director is supported by a highly qualified team of Chartered Physiotherapists and Sports Therapists.

All staff hold FA Enhanced CRB checks.

The Centre of Excellence offers superb training and playing facilities and, as well as playing football, the girls benefit from fitness assessments, health awareness and nutrition and lifestyle workshops.

Every season, each player receives two personal appraisals.

The Centre of Excellence is now in its 17th year and many players who have passed through the Centre have represented the Arsenal Ladies first team as well as gaining international honours. 

First-team player Leah Williamson joined the Centre of Excellence when she was 9
First-team player Leah Williamson joined the Centre of Excellence when she was 9

This season the girls will play in the London and South East FA Girls Centre of Excellence Fixture Programme at U11, U13, U15 & U17 level.

They will play against other professional football clubs that include Chelsea, Norwich, Millwall and Brighton.

In 2014/15 the girls will also play fixtures against Clubs from other regions including Aston Villa, Birmingham and Manchester United.

Internet Safety

CEOP Thinkuknow

Previous seasons featured a Centre of Excellence tour and the 2013/14 tour to France was a huge success. Featuring matches against sides from one of the top clubs in Europe, Olympique Lyonnais, it offered girls from all age groups the opportunity to spend time away from home with their team mates as part of our personal development and team building programme.

Arsenal Ladies FC have excellent links with the University of Hertfordshire. Several Arsenal Ladies players attend the University, many having moved on to the University having attended the Centre of Excellence. 

The University of Hertfordshire Women's First Team recently won the British Universities and Colleges Sport Southern Premier League Title for three consecutive seasons. The team that won those three titles was coached by the Centre of Excellence Technical Director, John Bayer and the side is now managed and coached by Arsenal Ladies legend, Faye White.

Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source
2 Jun 2015