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Football's Get-Pro Academy are out to provide girls in West Berkshire with opportunities in the sport

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Opportunities for girls to get involved in football are becoming easier in West Berkshire, thanks to an academy designed to help people climb up the football pyramid.

Get-Pro Academy are the first girls-only football academy in Newbury and surrounding areas for girls aged 9-16.

Run by owner John Fry and head coach Rich Matias, the aim is to provide quality training sessions to girls and create a pathway into the Women’s Super League and Championship clubs.

The girls in training at St Bartholomew's School in Newbury
The girls in training at St Bartholomew's School in Newbury

On how it started in Newbury, Fry said: “I coached a successful team about six years ago and there wasn’t anything for girls out there for them to have a pathway.

I wanted to move the company forward, so I was introduced to Rich and we immediately clicked and connected and we knew we could do it in Newbury.

We set up in November and what we’re trying to give them high-quality sessions,” he admitted. “We send them back to their respective teams with improvements and in the summer we hope to get them into trials.”

Matias added: “We want to try and build a pathway for the girls so they can come and get extra training sessions.

“We don’t form teams, so there is no threat to any grassroots teams, people come and train to us and we will put players through trials if they’re ready.”

With the opportunities that boys get in the sport, the head coach wants to provide that level for girls to have the same chance.

“Boys get the opportunities, and girls not so many because the nearest main training facilities for girls is in Reading.

Some of the girls training
Some of the girls training

“To have one in Newbury is brilliant and we have lots of people interested,” he said. “We offer something different because professional players help out from time-to-time.”

Ylenia Priest, from Watford, and Marie Hourihan from Birmingham and Hermione Cole from Arsenal have all been involved.

With help from the contacts Fry has built up in the game, the academy can help girls achieve trials with clubs in the future.

“The fact we can say we have helped players allows us to grow,” said Fry. “I now find it that some of the professional players want to give back.”

The sessions run every Monday at St Bartholomew School’s AstroTurf pitch from 6pm-8pm and anyone interested should head to https://www.getproacademy.org/ for information.

Get Pro Academy has been a success
Get Pro Academy has been a success

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