Under-17s retain Title
The Arsenal U17 squad retained the FA London and South East Region League title with a convincing away win at Millwall in their last game of the season. Congratulations to all the players, Head Coach Angela Cuerden, Assistant Coach Chris Phillips and Physio, Kim Burnett.

Opportunities to Trial for 2014/15

The application process for 2014/15 is now closed. Please note that the offer of places is subject to the award of an FA Licence for 2014/15.

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 employ 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, the Centre of Excellence is the first part of a wider development programme for female players that meets the needs of footballers from 5 years old through to elite open age football.

The pathway includes:

  • Arsenal Girls' U9 Player Development Centre (5- 8)
  • Arsenal Girls' Centre of Excellence (U11,U13,U15,U17)
  • University of Hertfordshire Ladies First Team (18+)
  • Arsenal Ladies Reserves and First Team Squad (16+)

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

The recent introduction of the Under 9 Player Development Centre enables very young players to have fun and gain valuable experience before progressing to the Centre of Excellence trials when they reach 9 years of age. You can get further information about the Under 9 Player Development Centre programme by going to the U9 Player Development Centre Page.

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

Jade Bailey joined the Centre of Excellence when she was 12 years old. She recently made her first team WSL debut against Chelsea.
Jade Bailey joined the Centre of Excellence when she was 12 years old. She recently made her first team WSL debut against Chelsea.
Each year, hundreds of girls attend one of our regular trials to try and gain a much sought after place in the Centre of Excellence.

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.

Ladies Centre of Excellence staff
Ladies Centre of Excellence staff

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

All staff hold FA Enhanced CRB checks.

Striker Freda Ayisi joined the Centre of Excellence when she was 13 years old
Striker Freda Ayisi joined the Centre of Excellence when she was 13 years old

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 16th year and many players who have passed through the Centre have represented the Arsenal Ladies first team as well as gaining international honours. 

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, Colchester and Brighton.

In 2013/14 the girls will also play sides from the USA and Ireland in the annual Arsenal Cup and fixtures against Clubs from other regions including Aston Villa, Liverpool and Manchester United.

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CEOP Thinkuknow

Most seasons feature a Centre of Excellence tour and the 2012/13 tour to Holland was a huge success. Featuring matches against sides from premier league clubs FC Twente and FC Utrecht, 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.

The 2013/14 Easter Tour will be to to Lyon, France when the U11, U13, U15 and U17 Squads will play Olympique Lyonnais whose first team has appeared in the last 4 Women's Champions League Finals, winning 2 of them. The teams will also play a Lyon Regional Select Side. This will be a fantastic experience for the players.

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. They all represent the University on Wednesday afternoons.

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 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source 10 Oct 2008