Helping young female players achieve greatness

The Swedish Football Association (SvFF) will spend €600,000 on a three-year project to help more young women players take the last vital step to greatness.

Lilie Persson
Lilie Persson ©SvFF

The problem: not enough young women make it from top prospect to top-class player. The solution: the Swedish Football Association (SvFF) will spend €600,000 on a three-year project to help more players take the last vital step to greatness.

"We feel it's been getting harder for girls to clear that final hurdle," says the association's player development manager Lilie Persson. "We see it in the progression of players from our national Under-23 team to the senior women's team, and in how many fail to establish themselves in Damallsvenskan, the top women's league, after playing in the women's Under-19 teams. We hope our new 'world class women' project will enable these young women to take a successful final step in their development."

Improvements will target 15 to 19-year-olds and focus primarily on club level, where the players spend most of their time. Clubs will be given resources to better follow up on injuries, and tools for individual video analysis. Coaches and staff will receive additional training as part of a broader certification process. The national women's Under-23 team will also have the opportunity to play more matches to give young players more international experience.

"Better clubs will give the national team access to a pool of better prepared players," added Persson. "But of course it's also important for us to improve our own operations, and increasing the number of matches and practice sessions for the Under-23s will be vital to prepare players for full internationals."

This article originally appeared in UEFA Direct 176

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