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​England star shares skills with aspiring female footballers


Local girls had the chance to learn from the best when England midfielder, Jill Scott, visited Hopwood Hall College to hold a Christmas coaching day.

The sessions, held at the college's Sports Arena, were part of the Jill Scott Soccer School, an initiative set up to help provide development for youngsters looking to take part in women's football.

Throughout the day, the Manchester City Ladies star taught players fitness methods used by industry professionals, in-game tactics and even some of her own playing techniques and skills.

The former FA International Player of the Year has made it her personal mission to ensure that young girls participate on the same level playing field as boys,

"The primary objective of my Soccer School is to give young women the same opportunities as there are for young men. The interest since the 2015 World Cup has really boomed, so it is crucial the indiustry manages this enthusiasm properly.

"I've found the biggest step is often the first step, there are a lot of barriers taken down in the sport now once you are at an established level. I hope the work I do with the Soccer School breaks down that initial barrier of getting into the sport".

As much as the attending youths enjoyed Jill's training sessions, it wasn't just attending players who were impressed with Jill's skills.

Hopwood Hall Football Development Officer, Holly Espie, has been a big fan of Jill's for years and described her joy at being part of such a revered sportswoman's training team.

"Jill is right up there with Steven Gerrard and Jordan Henderson in terms of professionals I look up to, so it has been a very humbling experience being able to work with her.

"The school is a fantastic opportunity for these girls and even myself, the teachings Jill has applied here are of such a high level that I too have learned a few things."