AFC Sudbury launch girls’ academy for footballers aged 16-18

Jemel Fox

Jemel Fox - Credit: Archant

Following the success of the boys’ academy, AFC Sudbury have launched a girls’ version at the Wardale Williams Stadium.

Kayleigh Steed

Kayleigh Steed - Credit: Archant

With the intention to start this coming September, the club are looking for girls, aged between 16-18, that possess a high standard of footballing ability to join the academy as either an apprentice or scholar.

Apprentices will train four times a week with UEFA A-qualified coaches Jemel Fox and Kayleigh Steed, with the aim of eventually being considered for the club’s senior women’s team, as well as being based at the club whilst studying for recognised NVQ, BTEC and coaching qualifications, all at level 2 and 3 standard.

Scholars, meanwhile, will receive the same amount of training and also look to be picked for the senior team, but would continue their education at sixth form level at Ormiston Sudbury Academy, retaining the option of university entry.

Budding players will be signed by last season’s Suffolk Women’s Cup finalists, who play in Eastern Region Women’s League Division One North, and will benefit from a fully-equipped classroom and the new 3G all-weather pitch which is planned for the club next season.

The players will also be given the chance to earn contracts with progressive non-league clubs and be given the opportunity to explore football scholarships in the US.

“The academy is open now for recruitment and we are looking to start in September,” said Fox, who is head coach of AFC Sudbury Ladies.

Most Read

“The girls will be training four times a week and we will be looking to join the Wednesday afternoon British Colleges Sport League.

“Along with Lowestoft Town, this is one of only two female academies in Suffolk and the aim is to get more girls playing football.

“There are not many teams in the county that play at a high level and hopefully the girls that join the academy can make the move up to the senior women’s team.”

He added: “We want to progress year on year and the academy is only going to help strengthen the senior team.

“This is a real positive and it’s about doing the right thing to increase participation in the women’s game.”

n The women’s senior team starts training at the football club on June 24 at 7pm.

Around 10 new players are looking to join for the new season and the recruitment drive is on-going.

Last season, the team reached the Suffolk Women’s Cup final, losing 2-0 to Ipswich Town Ladies at Ram Meadow.

In their four-team league, AFC finished second behind Bar Hill, winning seven and losing five of their 12 games, but above Bury Town and Ipswich Wanderers.

For more information on how to apply or be considered, complete an online enquiry form via the AFC Sudbury website, contact academy director Danny Laws on 07861 165915 or email

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter