BRIGHTON and Hove Albion has teamed up with a girls school in the city to open its newest female soccer school – and is looking for new players.

The Albion’s community arm, Brighton and Hove Albion Foundation, has launched the school at Brighton Girls on Montpelier Road and is looking for girls from all schools to join its 5-9 year old session and 10-14 year old sessions, both on Tuesday evenings.

BHAFC runs soccer schools across the county to encourage girls to get involved in the game but this is the first time it has opened one at an all-girls’ school.

Women and Girls’ Development Officer Nathan Casselton said: “There has been a massive surge in interest in the game from girls and women since the success of the Lionesses and I believe that in a year or two, we will have as many girls as boys joining our soccer schools. We will have a female leader here at Brighton Girls, community coach Abbie Burrows, to run the sessions and that’s something we try to do at all our girls’ soccer schools because it is important that the girls have a female role model.

“It’s also important that children understand through these sessions that it’s not just all about becoming a top player either – there are so many careers around the football industry and that’s something I have spoken about in school assemblies too. You don’t have to be a Premier League footballer, you can work in many different roles linked to football.”

Should any girls show real promise, however, the soccer schools are the first step in a pathway that BHAFC operates that ultimately can lead to playing within Brighton’s youth academy.

Brighton Girls assistant head co-curricular Hannah Lowe added: “We are thrilled to have made this partnership with BHAFC. It works on two levels for us. Firstly, we are really keen as a school to make our facilities available to the children of the city we sit in the heart of. The second is that our own girls love football and there’s a huge swell of interest in it so we are building up opportunities for them to play it. We now have a full football fixture season for years 5 to 8 and football is becoming a main part of our sport provision.”

11-year-old Georgie Marchand had come along to the first session to try her skills out. She said: “I play football in PE and love it so I thought the soccer school sounded great. I’ve seen the Lionesses play and it made me think I should give it a go and try something new.  I quite fancy being a goalie – it’s a lot of responsibility and pressure but I don’t mind that. It’s great fun.”

For more information about the soccer school and to book, go to