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How United have boosted girls football

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While next season will see the first professional women’s team bearing the Manchester United crest, the club has been heavily involved in girls' football in recent years.

The Reds have been rolling out a number of highly successful local programmes that have helped to develop talented young girls who have gone on to become international stars.

The Manchester United Foundation already runs a number of programmes for female players in schools and communities across Greater Manchester and is partnered with the South Manchester Girls Football League, developing girls’ football at grassroots level.

The Foundation also manages the FA Tier 1 Girls’ Regional Talent Club which provides opportunities for girls to play football at the highest level with the aim of developing international players. Players receive intensive training and support, along with the chance to compete against other clubs from both across the North West and nationally in competitions. In 2016, the Under-16 team reached the girls' FA Youth Cup Final for the first time in the club's history.

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Regional Talent Club: recent history:

• 2015/16: FA Girls’ Youth Cup Finalists (lost to Arsenal)
• 2017/18: FA Youth Cup Semi-Final (lost to Reading)
• 2016/17 season:  64 girl players in the Regional Talent Club, over 370 players registered for trials for the 2017/18 season
• 2017/18: 85 players registered, with the trials in June for the 2018/19 season expected to receive a record number of triallists
• 13 players involved in the international set-up over the 2016/17 season through international caps and training camps, 4 girls in the younger age groups involved in regional camps
• 15 players involved at international level in the 2017/18 season through international caps and training camps, 12 for England and 3 for Scotland.

Participation Numbers: Girls’ Development

• 2016/17: Girls’ Development team delivered 200 sessions across Greater Manchester, working with 2924 girls-only participants
• 2017/18: Girls’ Development team has already engaged with 2609 girls-only participants, with overall engagement number expected to increase by the end of the season

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South Manchester Girls Football League and MU Foundation

2016 saw the Manchester United Foundation’s investment in grassroots girls’ football expand into local communities across South Manchester. The partnership has allowed the Foundation to deliver a series of workshops and training sessions aimed at young female players and also coaches within the league. Not only did the workshops help improve the skills and confidence of participants but also provided a valuable opportunity for our Girls’ Regional Talent Club players to share their knowledge and experience of playing for Manchester United. The partnership has contributed to a 41 per cent increase in girls’ participation in the league since it began.

• 41 per cent increase in South Manchester Girls’ League participation rates: from 998 girls in 2015/16 season to 1404 girls in 2016/17 season, this number is expected to rise this season too
• Two football specific workshops held with South Manchester Girls’ Football League this season engaging 155 participants and 16 coaches across the league.