Girls Scholarship

To celebrate the EFL’s Community Weekends, the football club invited the successful Posh Girls Scholarship squad to the Weston Homes Stadium.

Up and down the country, football clubs were shining a spotlight on their community programmes as part of the EFL’s new Community Weekends initiative, and at Peterborough United that presented us with an opportunity to celebrate the remarkable results of the Girls Scholarship squad, who have enjoyed unparalleled success in recent seasons.

With back-to-back league and cup doubles, the squad currently sit top of the Women’s Premier 2 with nine wins from nine games. They are currently enjoying their debut season in the National Football Youth League and several of their players have recently participated in the NYFL’s All-Star trial event in Leicestershire.

Manager Georgia Clarke and the squad were introduced to the crowd ahead of the Sky Bet League One fixture with Shrewsbury Town at the Weston Homes Stadium on Saturday and they received a warm reception from the crowd as Darren Ferguson’s men recorded a 2-1 victory to remain in the automatic promotion places.

“Initially the scholarship programme started as a Futsal programme, but when the pandemic struck, it changed, and we are just football now. The programme combines football and education, so we have players from 16-19-years-old who are pretty much in full-time with us and then thanks to the wonderful relationship we have with Nene Park Academy, they receive their education at the school.

“Over the last two seasons we have competed in the EFL Trust’s league and we have won that league and cup for successive years and that is down to a combination of aspects. Firstly, we have been fortunate to have a lot of brilliant players in the group, players that have gone on to play for the women’s first team and also other clubs within the FAWNL structure.

“Their attitude and commitment has been first class and whatever coaches we have had within the programme, they have been passionate about developing the girls on and off the pitch and that has showed in the results that we have achieved.

“We do have high expectations of our players both on and off the pitch, we expect them to carry themselves well in and around the building because it is a first team environment and also from the education standpoint, we want them to achieve what we know they can achieve academically – that is vitally important.

“We have tremendous support from the Foundation. That relationship we have with the school is because of the unbelievable work that the Foundation do. The Scholarship is just one part of the work that the Foundation do on a day-to-day basis, throughout the year and we are so grateful for the support that we receive. They allow us to ensure we have the right preparation for Wednesday afternoon fixtures, whether that be equipment or travel, it is brilliant support.

“As staff, it is great to work on a full-time football programme. It doesn’t feel like a job because we get so much enjoyment as coaches. There is a pathway in the scholarship programme too which is incredibly important because they can see the success that players are enjoying at the top end.

“I love my job, I love coming in to work and trying to help and improve the players both as footballers as people. Across the girls and boys scholarship programmes we have enjoyed lots of success and long may that continue – whilst we in the girls side might have had a few more trophies, that is down to everybody in that office, we all help each other.”

The EFL Community Weekends build on the success of the recent EFL Week of Action in November – where the League and its Clubs shone a light on the significant impact Club community work has on towns and cities in England and Wales, valued at over £865m a season in the latest community impact report.