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Bradford City FC Community Foundation highlight Women’s team pathways for International Women’s Day 2024

The Bradford City FC Community Foundation has spotlighted pathways to BCAFC’s Women's teams through its Football and Education programme, as part of its International Women’s Day output.

[L-R] Summer Paley, Ella Barnes, Sophie Martin and Crystal Boyce.

The F&E Programme allows young people to combine their studies with football, as they work towards qualifications whilst training and playing football in a schedule which mirrors that of professional footballers.

Meet Summer

Summer Paley is a second-year student who will graduate from the programme this year, and combined her studies with her footballing duties.

On her experiences on the F&E programme and progression into the first team, Summer said: “The training and playing schedule with F&E prepared me for the intensity in the first team and the workload.”

“I have a lot of coursework to do, so I make my own schedule so I can prioritise my studies alongside the first team. Being on the course helped bring me out of my shell, and gave me the tools in teamwork I needed. The F&E set up[ leads you towards a good education and a good standard of football, it’s a nice environment to be in.”

Many girls from the F&E Women’s teams have graduated to the BACFC Women’s first, U23 and U21 teams, with a recent fixture involving the F&E U19 Women A team featuring 10 players who progressed through BCAFC Women’s junior ranks.

Summer Paley in action for BCAFC Women.

Monika Stube, BCAFC Women captain and Latvia international, spoke of her pride in seeing two players come into the first team set-up off the back of their exploits on the F&E programme.

Monika said: “Seeing young players come into our environment from the F&E programme fills me with pride. They arrive as good players and well-rounded individuals, with the right attitude, who are eager to learn.”

Summer has now established herself as a first-team player for BCAFC Women, featuring regularly for Emily Senior’s side.”

Qasim Akhtar, BCAFC Women Chairman and former F&E student, said: “Seeing players come into our first-team environment from the F&E Programme provides our next generation of talent with not only dedicated future teammates, but also the knowledge that hard work does pay off and that, for young women and girls in the city of Bradford, there are opportunities and pathways into football that result in playing and training at a high level.”

Summer was also featured in a roundtable interview with her fellow F&E Women’s team players in November, as part of 2023s EFLs Week of Action


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