The Mourant Junior Girls Academy
The Mourant Junior Girls Academy was created in October 2019 to provide an opportunity for girls who currently play in clubs and/or for schools to play with a female team in order to develop a pathway into youth and senior female football. The Junior Girls Academy has a group of Year 5 girls and a group of Year 6 girls. The two squads are participating in the monthly Club Festivals participating against the year below club teams.
The Junior Girls Academy train weekly with qualified female coaches to develop as a squad to play in the monthly festivals. Once the players become U12 our ambition is to generate our own fixture programme parallel with the Corbet Shield. We do not want to take the girls away from playing with their clubs so entering the Corbet Shield would not be of benefit to the girls or the league, so our plan is to create regular friendly fixtures with the Corbet Shield teams to keep the girls playing games on a regular basis.
We also have connections with the Jersey Centre of Excellence for Girls (Player Development Centre) who we aim to play once a year either in Guernsey or Jersey, these matches provide the girls from both islands the opportunity to play against other girls in a developmental environment.
As the girls develop through the Girls Academy they are working towards becoming future senior players which will develop the women’s game with the hope to create more local teams and a high quality representative side.
The Mourant Girls Academy
The Mourant Girls Academy continues to thrive, with the 11-16 age groups continuing to have two sessions each week, with one match based session and one technical session. These sessions are as follows:
• Mondays and Thursdays 5.30-7.00pm;
• Mondays are based at St Sampson’s High School on the outdoor AstroTurf for fun match based practice
• Thursdays are at Victoria Avenue for a technical session on grass.
This season, the Under 13 squad of the Girls Academy have participated in an in-house Futsal League, which was created for academy players across both male and female football. The team played weekly fixtures against the boys academy teams indoors developing technical and tactical skills as they played.
Looking back to 2019 the Mourant Guernsey Girls Academy participated in games against the Jersey Girls Player Development Centre held at Victoria Avenue playing U12 and U15 matches. A selected U15 group also travelled to Sartilly, France, to compete in an international tournament to play against teams from France, UK and Jersey in 8v8 football games throughout the one day event. The girls enjoyed the experience of being off island and playing football but the day was predominantly against male teams and there were not many girls involved in the overall event.
Joelle reflected on the overall success of the Mourant Academy when adding that:
“We now have over 50 girls involved in the Mourant Girls Academy across the 9-16 age range. We continue to aspire to create footballers for life with the motivation to regrow the senior game in years to come particularly for the Island Games in 2021. This pathway is already working as we have now seen five girls progress through the Girls Academy and are currently training with the GFA Representative Women’s squad.”