Sunderland RTC programme attracts record numbers at open trials

Sunderland RTC programme attracts record numbers at open trials

Sunderland RTC is historically one of the best Tier 1 status FA Regional Talent Clubs in the country and if recent events were anything to go by, this isn’t changing anytime soon.

Throughout the month of June, across six sessions and three separate venues – 370 girls attended our open trials for the upcoming 2022/23 season.

The programme is part of the Foundation of Light and the England Lionesses’ female football development pathway, with some household names in the women’s professional game having also embarked on the Regional Talent Club journey.

Sunderland RTC have helped to develop star-studded names including Steph Houghton and Jill Scott, as well as current SAFC Ladies players such as Keira Ramshaw, Neve Herron and Jess Brown.

Reflecting on the incredible turnout at the recent open trials, Football Development Manager and Sunderland RTC Technical Director, Wayne Walls said: “This record number of girls attending the sessions held at the Beacon of Light, Downhill Football Hub and Ford Football Hub show how strong female football is in the north-east and how much progress has been made in developing the female football pathway.

“Leading up to Women’s Euro 2022, the standard on display at the trials was very high and we are confident the future for the Lionesses and women's football in general is looking extremely bright.”

With the women’s game and the Regional Talent Club going from strength-to-strength, Walls admits the RTC is the perfect programme for players who want to progress in the beautiful game. “Those selected for the programme that wish to pursue their interest in football further and work towards the highest level possible can do that through the Regional Talent Club.

“Players get to test themselves in a weekly development programme as well as playing matches against the likes of Liverpool and Manchester United. Our team of expert coaches help each player work towards reaching their full potential in a fun but challenging environment.”

Currently, Sunderland RTC operates under 11,12, 13/14 and under 15/16 age groups, however, girls aged from 5-11 can also benefit from our football programmes. 

Our Wildcats programme is the ideal football programme for girls who want to play football for the very first time or want to play with other girls their own age. More importantly, it's all about having loads of fun and meeting new amazing friends.

For some participants it can even be a pathway into our Player Development Squad and Sunderland Regional Talent Centre programme.
Walls added: "The aim at the Foundation is to keep providing all girls who want to play football with the opportunity to do so at whatever level suits them and with our continued support within the RTC, identify and develop the next generation of Lionesses and star players in the adult game."