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West Notts College and Stags launch women’s football programme

21 May 2024

Club News

West Notts College and Stags launch women’s football programme

21 May 2024

West Nottinghamshire College and Mansfield Town Football Club have announced a pioneering new programme for talented young female footballers.

The college and promotion-winning Stags have teamed-up once again to give school-leavers the opportunity to continue their football development while gaining a nationally-recognised qualification that will open doors to careers in sport, coaching or fitness.

Starting in September 2024, the MTFC Women’s Football Programme (Advanced) is a tailored pathway for 16-18-year-olds to harness both their playing and vocational skills.

Students on the two-year college course will benefit from twice-weekly training sessions split between the RH Academy – Stags’ state-of-the-art facility in Pleasley, where the first team trains – and the college’s 4G pitch at its Derby Road campus, Mansfield.

All this builds up to matchday, when they will experience the thrill of weekly competitive fixtures in the Association of Colleges (AoC) girls’ football league, under the guidance of seasoned UEFA-qualified coaches. As an added incentive, the players will wear Mansfield Town FC’s home kit, underlining the prestige that comes with being selected.

Alongside training and playing, players will study the Level 3 Extended Diploma in Sport at the college, learning a diverse range of disciplines during the first year, including anatomy and physiology, fitness training and programming, professional development in the sports industry, sports leadership, and coaching for performance.

Students will further their knowledge in the second year, studying advanced topics such as investigating business in sport and the active leisure industry, research methods in sport, development and provision of sport and physical activity, and sports injury management.

Learning both inside and outside the classroom, they will hone their skills through hands-on projects integrated with sports theory – including planning and leading women’s football coaching sessions, which will make an impact across the college and the local community.

To secure a place on the programme, applicants must achieve the entry requirements and undergo a successful interview and trials.

Upon completion, students will be equipped with new skills and a qualification equivalent to three A-Levels – providing a platform to higher education, an apprenticeship or professional employment within the sport and leisure industries.

The women’s football development programme represents an extension of the already-successful partnership between the college and Stags, who are celebrating their automatic promotion to League One. It follows the launch of the MTFC Performance Programme in 2020, which enables male students to pursue their passion for football with high-quality sports study.

Wayne Loseby, head of sport and public services at West Nottinghamshire College, said: "We are thrilled to announce this expansion of our partnership with Mansfield Town FC for the launch of our women’s football and education course for 16-18-year-olds.

“This collaboration epitomises our dedication to providing diverse and innovative learning opportunities that resonate with our students' passions.

“By combining the expertise of the college with the rich footballing heritage of the Stags, we will provide a dynamic learning environment where young women can develop both their athletic prowess and academic excellence.

“Together, we are committed to empowering our students to reach their full potential and become leaders both on and off the field.

“This initiative underlines our dedication to offering ambitious pathways for students to excel and achieve their goals."

Andrew Cropley, principal and chief executive of the college, said: “Ever since we launched the men’s football academy, I’ve been determined to follow it as quickly as possible with a similar opportunity for women. Given the success of this partnership, and the rapid growth of women’s football, I’m excited that we are now able to make this offer.

“I’m very confident that our excellent teachers and coaches, with the expert support from the football club, will soon be helping women and girls on this programme to achieve similar levels of success to their male counterparts.”

Mansfield Town FC’s academy director Steve Hymas said: “We are delighted to announce this new initiative with West Nottinghamshire College.

“This is an outstanding opportunity for talented female footballers between the ages of 16-18 to continue their academic, footballing and career development.

“The programme will provide the best education, training, football networks and sporting facilities in the region to help young female footballers maximise their full potential.

“This initiative will complement our already-vibrant ladies’ section at Mansfield Town and is another step in the right direction for our ever-progressing club.”

For further information about the Level 3 Extended Diploma in Sport – MTFC Women’s Football Programme (Advanced) course, or to apply, visit

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