9 February 2018

The footballing skills of five female sports students have been given a professional boost thanks to a Nottingham Forest Ladies FC training masterclass.

During January, Level 2 Sport and BTEC Sport Level 3 students at Nottingham College were given the opportunity to train with the Nottingham Forest Ladies First Team and Reserves at the Basford United Greenwich Avenue club ground and the College’s Clifton campus.

Students Caitlin Dickinson, Courtney Mitchell, Leah Turner, Carolina Gomes and Ruth Oldman, all aged between 16 and 18, were chosen to participate in the two hour weekly sessions because of their sporting ability and passion. Among other things, the sessions helped the learners to acquire a range of drills, skills and match practice.

Nottingham College has been working together with the FA Women’s Premier League Northern Division football club since August last year (2017) in various capacities, including college students benefitting from goal keeper training from experienced coaches at the club. It is the first time however that the organisations have joined forces to deliver training sessions to enthusiastic sports students.

By also being invited to the cup winning team’s real training sessions, the student leaners were able to understand the level of commitment, enthusiasm and dedication that is required to play at that level.

Seventeen year old Carolina Gomes, who is studying Level 3 Sport at Nottingham College and is one of the five female students selected to train alongside the Ladies Football Club said:

“Training with the reserves team was one of the best opportunities that I had. It gave me a chance to improve my skills and boost my confidence in football.

“The sessions also enabled me to make new friends and the atmosphere whilst I played and learned was great. I would definitely do it all again!”

As a result of the appointment of Nottingham Forest Ladies FC Manager, Graham Abercrombie, as the College’s Under 18s Girls Head Coach, the students have all hugely benefitted from his footballing expertise.

Graham Abercrombie said:

“Having seen our girls here at Nottingham College work so hard on the training ground but also have the correct attitudes and character, I was delighted to offer them the ‘Forest Ladies’ experience as a reward and acknowledgement. All of the girls have trained with the reserves for two weeks to see and feel how a Women’s Premier League club operates and works.

“I’m delighted to say also that all five of the girls have been offered the opportunity to extend the experience by training for a further four weeks. This type of intervention is great evidence that the partnership between Nottingham Forest Ladies and Nottingham College is working and will have impact far reaching past the obvious technical and physical aspects of playing the game of football.”

The Nottingham College students have gained high level professional first class experience from the acclaimed football team, which have helped them to achieve many of their successes.

The expert training has brought a wealth of opportunities and advantages to the college football enthusiasts, who have a desire to develop and perfect their skills. As well as obtaining top level skills which will come in handy when competing in future competitions, students have gained a range of social interaction competences.

Speaking of the great benefits of the partnership between Nottingham College and Nottingham Forest Ladies FC, Diane Garfield, the College’s Community and Performance Manager said:

“Partnering with the Nottingham Forest Ladies FC has been a completely positive experience for the students involved and for the College as a whole.

“Working with the club means that the students can further develop themselves as players and gain on pitch experience in a new environment, as well as knowledge of what’s expected when playing in a larger and professional team. In addition, learners were able to build on their self-esteem and meet new people.

“It was a mutually beneficially experience for both parties and we look forward to continuing our ongoing relationship.”

The College’s sports timetables are managed to allow students to participate in weekly practical sessions and regular Association of Colleges (AoC) leagues and competitions. You can find out more about the sporting opportunities available to students by visiting the website.

If you are interested in being part of the College’s football academy and are wanting to study on a full time Nottingham College course, please email Diane Garfield, Community and Performance Sports Manager at or call on 0115 914 6405.

You can also find out more about Nottingham College’s Ladies Football Academy by coming along to the next open evening on Friday 23rd March 2018 at the Clifton Football Centre from 6.30pm to 8.30pm. To register your interest, please contact Diane Garfield.

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