UEFA President visited women’s national football academy in Austria today. The National Centre for Women’s Football partly funded by UEFA.
UEFA President Michel Platini visited the National Centre for Women’s Football (Nationale Zentrum für Frauenfußball) in St. Pölten, Austria, at the invitation of the Austrian Football Association (ÖFB). The women’s football academy provides world-class facilities for girls to reach the top level in women’s football and is partly funded by HatTrick, UEFA’s investment programme for national associations.
President Platini said: “I’m always happy to see UEFA’s investment in action and the Austrian FA have done a great job here. This centre will support girls playing at grassroots level to take the crucial step to reach the A team.”
The Austrian National Centre for Women’s Football forms part of the national association’s talent development programme and aims to support the transfer from youth to professional football. It offers intensive training in tactical and technical excellence. The young athletes’ personal development is also supported and actively promoted. In addition to top-class football training, girls studying at the academy have the opportunity to continue their studies. The higher education subjects on offer include sports science, sports medicine and psychology.
Women’s football continues to grow in importance and numbers – to date UEFA counts over 1.8 million registered female football players in Europe. UEFA’s flagship women’s club competition, the UEFA Women’s Champions League, reaches the knockout stages this month. The Austrian club playing in the UEFA Women’s Champions League this season, SV Neulengbach, starts its Champions League campaign on 28 September. This season’s final will be played in Munich on 17 May.
UEFA’s continued commitment to women’s football is notably highlighted through its HatTrick initiative. In December 2010, the Executive Committee decided to allocate €100,000 to each of UEFA’s 53 member associations each year between 2012 and 2016 through HatTrick for developing the women’s game.
In addition, four national associations were selected to receive €50,000 of funding as part of a women’s football development pilot scheme. This has already led to the Republic of Ireland setting up a national women’s league and Portugal staging a women’s football day. Following the success of the scheme, it was decided to renew the operation for the 2011/12 season, increasing the availability of funding to 40 national associations.
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