Russ Green says the Belles’ Regional Talent Centre is continuing to go from strength to strength as the club looks to build on bringing young female players through the ranks.
The Belles have added to their RTC programme this year by running tasters for a new under-10 side which proved very popular, as well as putting plans in place to start a Wildcats centre and a development side later on in 2020.
The new sides being created at the Belles show that there will be a clear pathway from the age of five, right through to the first-team, showing that the club are looking to set themselves up well for the future, something that Green is excited about.
He said: “The RTC here at Doncaster Rovers Belles has gone from strength to strength, and we are looking to build on the work that the Chantelle Haigh and her excellent team have put in so far this season with the creation of a new Wildcats centre to introduce young girls into football in Doncaster at an earlier age.
“The under-10 taster sessions proved to be really popular and we got some great feedback from it too, some of the girls who went to the taster sessions attended the first-team game against Wolves at the beginning of the month which was great to see.
“We always speak about giving the young teams role models to look up to and aspire to be like, and for them to meet the first-team squad and speak to them after the game, it’ll give them a lot of confidence.”
Green also spoke about plans for a new development side that the Belles hope to have in place for the 2020/21 season, with the chief executive hopeful that the addition of the team will help aid the retention of players that have come up through the system from an early age.
“We’ve seen players in the past that have reached the age of 16 and then left us once they have finished in the RTC, now by having that development side in place, it gives them the option to stay with us and we can build around those girls,” he added.
“We have also recently had our application for a development side to be entered into the FAWNL Reserve league accepted for next season, so there is now a clear pathway right through the system, from five through to the first-team.
“The plans that we have in place mean that once we get back to playing football, this will be an exciting time to be a part of the Belles, we want to produce players here at the Belles for the first-team and grow from within, and that would be massive for a club like us.”
All footballing activity at the Belles is currently suspended as a result of the coronavirus pandemic affecting the country, but despite this, Green says the club are in constant contact with all RTC players and their families, with player safety paramount.
He said: “These are testing times for everyone in the country at this moment in time, and we have to make sure everyone connected with the RTC is protected from the virus, but we are in communication with players and their families throughout this time.
“It’s important that with the new measures that are in place that our players spend time with their families at home, and the safety of our players and their families is our absolute priority.
“We’re all in this together, we want everybody to stay safe, but once we do get things back to normal, we are sure that everyone will be looking forward to what will be an exciting time at the Belles and especially in the RTC.”