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Club News


10 March 2020

Friday, 3 April at Playford Road for 16-21 year-olds

Ipswich Town Women will be holding an open evening at the ITFC Training Centre on Friday, 3 April.

The evening is for 16-21 year-olds looking for a pathway in women's football and further details and information can be found below.


Venue: Ipswich Town Training Centre, Playford Road, Ipswich, IP4 5RQ

Induction from: 6.30pm - 7.00pm

Opening Evening Training Session: 7.00pm till 8.30pm

Pitch Allocation: 3G (please wear moulds/studs - no metals)


How to register:

Please email Assistant Coach & Operations - Paige Shorten on to find out more information and to register your daughter.


What to expect at the Open Evening:

On the night our head coach Joe Sheehan will lead the induction for all players and parents giving an overview of the WSL Academy and inform all attendees of the plans for next season. Ralph Pruden will explain the education partnership with St Joseph's College and the different academic options available to players including scholarships. We will also explain homestay availability. From 7.00pm till 8.30pm all attendees will be requested to bring kit to train alongside our current squad players. After the open evening Paige Shorten will be in touch with next steps for all players.


What is Ipswich Town Women WSL Dual Academy Squad all about?

Ipswich Town offers a unique environment within the Women's game due to the cross-over of staff between Academy and First-Team and the opportunities available for young players to access competitive league football in conjunction with their development programme.  This has been highlighted this season with the First-Team's run to the last 16 of the Women's FA Cup and current promotion bid to Tier 3 with up to 10 Academy players regularly involved.  Six of our girls have been selected for the most recent England U18s, two more with the U17s and an additional three players previously capped.

The FA launched the WSL Academies in 2018-19 season to provide elite female footballers a pathway to the professional game whilst also working towards another chosen career. The programme includes an elite level of training at Ipswich Town Men’s first-team training centre, a fixture programme within the FA WSL Academy League, TASS (Talented Athletes Performance Services Support) provide medical, nutritional and psychological support alongside the club and there is host family provision and lifestyle delivery. Players can access up to 16 hours contact time per week.  Alongside all of this provision our squad players have the opportunity to access scholarships at St Joseph's College which then allows for a more full-time programme. 


The Education Partnership with St Joseph's College & Essex University:

Equal importance is placed on academic achievement and footballing progression.  We recognise that the girls coming into our programme are highly ambitious and driven to achieve their very best both on and off the pitch.  Currently there are not fortunes to be made from the game and all players will be aware that they need to  be working hard on another pathway to run alongside their football.

With this in mind we have put a number of measures in place to enhance our offer and give the girls the best possible chance to succeed.

  • Partnership with St Joseph's College – independent school in Ipswich.  Renowned for their ability to support aspiring elite athletes.  We have a number of scholarships available to our players with an option to either be a day student or access homestay if living further away (at a cost).  This gives the girls an outstanding education in an aspirational environment whilst also allowing more football contact time. 

    Diploma In Sporting Excellence (DISE) worth the equivalent of one A-level, all girls will complete this qualification that is based around their football programme, looking at areas such as tactical, technical, nutritional, injuries, communication and values.

    Essex University – we have recently entered a partnership with Essex Uni to support their developing  Elite Women's Football programme.  In  turn they are offering a supportive environment for our players looking to undertake an undergraduate or masters degree.


Who is it run by?

  • Joe Sheehan - Lead Coach at Ipswich Town Women U21 Squad, also Manager of Ipswich Town Women.
  • Paige Shorten - Assistant Coach and Operations at Ipswich Town Women U21 Squad, also Assistant Coach of Ipswich Town Women
  • Ralph Pruden – Head of Education & Welfare at Ipswich Town Academy
  • James Lee - S&C Coach employed through TASS
  • Andy Bannan - Physio employed through TASS


How is the programme delivered within the week?

  • Tuesday 6:30 – 8:30 Training to include analysis and  pitch based match prep.
  • Wednesday WSL Academy match day or day release (training, education, S&C, workshops)
  • Friday 6:30- 8:30 Training and strength & conditioning programme.
  • Sunday 10:00 – 12:00 Pitch based S&C, rehab, individual development programme or Ipswich Town First-Team match day, FAWNL.

Photo: Ross Halls. Maddie Biggs (right), 16 years old, Ipswich Town WU21 Academy player up against Steph Houghton, captain of Manchester City Women and England Lionesses.

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