PLYMOUTH Marjon University and Argyle Ladies are delighted to announce a new partnership, which will see Argyle Ladies make the University’s state-of-the-art Sports Facilities their home for training, while providing Marjon sports students the chance to work with elite level athletes.
The new partnership strengthens this link between the two institutions, which has been developed over the past three years through the BA Football Development and Coaching programme and confirms the commitment from both to help develop women’s football in the South West.
Argyle Ladies and Marjon have long worked together, with the FA Women’s National League Southern Premier Division side having received support from Sports Therapy students. Through the new partnership, Argyle Ladies players will be on the Marjon campus for training throughout the season, as well as receiving support from students on Marjon’s Sports Therapy, Sports Science, Strength and Conditioning, and Football Development and Coaching students.
Marjon Lecturer in Sport and Health Sciences Chris Smietanka, and Phil Brown, a Lecturer in Football and Sport Development were delighted to confirm the partnership with Argyle Ladies.
“We’ve been looking to develop a formal partnership with Argyle Ladies over a number of years now and it’s great to be able to get this deal done,” said Chris.
“As well as training on Marjon’s world class sporting facilities, Argyle Ladies will receive ongoing support throughout the season from Marjon staff and students around physical performance coaching, rehabilitation and injury prevention.”
Phil Brown, Football Development and Coaching programme Leader, thinks the new partnership is a great chance for Marjon’s students to gain experience in working on development initiatives and practical experience in a supportive environment.
Phil continued: “The opportunity for our students to gain professional skills, whether that’s supporting behind the scenes, pitch side, or in training, will put them in a great position when it comes to employability.
“As well as helping future employment options, it’s also great for the student experience when it comes to studying at Marjon. Working with elite athletes and playing a part in seeing the development of female football and Argyle Ladies is something that should excite our students, and it’s great to be able to offer this opportunity to them.”
Chris added: “Argyle Ladies have technical coaches and we’ll be looking to support them by creating bespoke training programmes from a physical performance perspective. It’s a great thing for some of our students to be able to walk out of University and say that they’ve essentially been a physical performance coach for a group of athletes.”
Argyle Ladies are coming off the back of finishing sixth in the National League Southern Premier Division, their highest ever league finish, and their Director of Football Trevor Rodd is looking forward to the Ladies getting started at Marjon.
“We’re absolutely thrilled to be linking up with Marjon for this partnership. It has been a long time in the making and we can’t wait to get going. I think it’s a fantastic opportunity for both parties,” said Trevor.
“We all need a home, we need a base and somewhere we can rely on. We’re in here for pre-season on July 1 and the girls are absolutely buzzing about coming to a facility like this, with the support network we’re going to have access to.”
One of the long term aims of the new partnership is that new students at Marjon will also get the opportunity to play for Argyle Ladies, as well as representing the University in BUCS fixtures.
Trevor said: “We’re really keen for Marjon students to not only work with us, but also have that opportunity to play for us if they’re good enough.
“Ladies football is getting bigger and the FA is really backing it. We feel that a part of our duty as a women’s team is to help push the whole game forward and moving to a place like Marjon with the facilities that are on offer is definitely a part of that process.”
Chris concluded: “I see this partnership as the launch-pad for the development of the women’s game and female players at Marjon.
“What we hope is that as Argyle Ladies progress up through the leagues, we’ll attract new players as students who want to play football at a high level during their studies and might have a chance of representing Argyle Ladies as well as the University in BUCS fixtures.”
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