Blades girls earn elite status from FA

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SHEFFIELD United Girls’ Centre of Excellence (SUGCOE) has been unveiled as one of the Football Association’s latest of Elite Centres of Excellence.

Organisers say the successful notification will open up opportunities for young people across South Yorkshire and strengthen women’s football in the region. SUGCOE is supported by the League One club and works with talented female football players aged ten to 16 years old.

Dean Smith, SUGCOE director, said: “We are so pleased that our commitment, drive and passion has been recognised by the FA.

“Having an Elite Centre of Excellence in Sheffield will offer female players in our region a fantastic opportunity to compete at the top level in women’s academy football and an opportunity to enhance their skills and technical abilities in Britain’s fastest growing sport.

“To achieve this status is a proud moment for our centre and is credit to all the hard work that went into our bid.”

Smith added: “We have had incredible support from the Sheffield and Hallamshire FA, Sheffield United, Doncaster Rovers Belles and, of course, the centre’s players and their parents, whose enthusiasm and dedication made it possible for us to achieve our aspiration of becoming an Elite Centre of Excellence.”

SUGCOE, which is based at Shirecliffe, will now hold trials later this month for under-9, 11, 13, 15 and under-17 age groups.