Holly excited ahead of Latics Women's Academy launch

Date published: 02 March 2024

A new Women’s Academy will launch at Latics next season - and Female Development Officer, Holly Espie, is calling on young players from the local area to sign up.

A UEFA A candidate coach with experience at clubs including Manchester United Women’s Academy, Holly will head up the exciting new programme at Boundary Park.

Holly believes that, whilst football ability is important, nurturing young peoples’ skills as individuals is vital for them to be able to showcase their talent on the pitch.

That’s why she’s keen for them to progress and people, first and foremost, giving them the best platform to launch their career in sport.

“We like to take a person first approach to the girls we coach,” Holly said.

“Looking at how we can develop them as individuals is important, because if they’re not okay and I don’t understand them, then I’m not going to be able to get the best out of them on the pitch.

“We want them to be able to express themselves as individuals.

“From there, developing them as people will transfer over into the classroom where they’re in a good and safe environment, where they can knuckle down and do their studies.

“That opens up their opportunities further, we can look at a scholarship in America or stepping straight into university.

“If someone really wants to go to America, then we can sit down at the end of year one and start speaking to scholarship companies and get them out there.

“The qualification is equivalent to a level two or level three, depending on what pathway they take.

“If they go for level three, that will give them two to three A-levels, which will take them straight into university.

“The qualification is also a nice stepping stone into apprenticeships or scholarships.

“If they’re not the best academically, which is fine, then a level two will allow them to get access to apprenticeships, or gather other qualifications, such as football coaching qualifications.

“There are lots of options people will have.”

Based at Boundary Park, a set of brand new, bespoke classrooms have been built, giving students the best place to learn as part of their NCFE Level 3 Diploma.

They’ll also be used as part of post-match analysis, where they can discuss and learn from their experiences on the pitch, with the goal of becoming better footballers.

“The day will be split into two, you’ll have two hours of training in the morning or afternoon, and then a few hours to complete work in the classroom," added Holly.

“That will be the same for Mondays and Tuesdays, with Wednesdays being exclusively for matchdays.

“If for whatever reason we don’t have a match on Wednesday, you might have it off, be given some extra studies, or even some team activities.

“Thursdays will be full of post match work, looking at the game, analysing it, looking at what we did well, what didn’t work, and building 

“It’s playing football which will give them options going forward, whether that be playing at a higher level, recreationally, or moving into coaching.”

The Women's Academy is currently looking for players who are leaving school this summer - details of how to apply can be obtained by emailing: football.applications@oldhamathletic.co.uk, including a brief description of the individual's footballing experience.

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