STUDENTS from Wrexham Glyndwr University will watch a training session held by the Wales national women’s football team.

The Welsh side will be training at Collier’s Park in Gresford on Thursday, March 5, a day before their friendly fixture with Estonia at the Racecourse in Wrexham.

Students from the university’s BSc Football and the Performance Specialist degree will take part in a question and answer session with the Wales women’s manager, Jayne Ludlow MBE, before watching her side train at the new national football development centre.

Former Welsh Under 16s player Sian Smith, 30, from Wrexham, is in her second year of the course, which she combines with playing in defence for Airbus Ladies and coaching girls teams at Brickfield Rangers FC.

She said: “Just being able to have the opportunity to go and watch how they prepare for matches and how they train before the game is a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

Sian relished the opportunity to complete her C and B coaching badges as part of the course and hopes the course will help further her coaching career in the future.

Foundation year student Laura Davies, 24, from Chirk, is a coach at The New Saints FC U16 Girls side and the newly-formed Wrexham County U15 Girls team.

She said: “Being involved with the National team is an absolute honor. I never imagined I’d be so lucky to have these opportunities.

“I am a huge fan of women’s football and to be able to be involved with it at a professional level is just amazing. I think Jane Ludlow and the girls are such great role models for girl footballers in the area and I feel privileged to be involved.”

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The Football Coaching and the Performance Specialist degree is an innovative programme which integrates football coaching awards into an academic course to help students find build careers in the football industry.

Programme leader, Sara Hilton, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for the students to expand their knowledge.

“The students engaged in something similar last year with the men’s senior squad so it’s fantastic to be able to take advantage of another opportunity within the female game.

“We are passionate about provide real-world opportunities for students to apply their knowledge and occasions like this truly enhance their learning.”

Final year student and former Everton player, Rebecca Bannister, combines playing for Connah’s Quay Nomads Ladies with her job as a lifeguard.

About the course, the former Wales U15 and U17 international, who also coaches a boys’ team at Prestatyn Town Academy, said: “I feel I have developed as a coach as well as a practitioner throughout the course with the help from the tutors.

“The course gives great knowledge on how to put knowledge into practice and the university also provides plenty of opportunities for students to put their knowledge into an applied environment with various local teams and organisations.”

The £5m Colliers Park National Football Development Centre, launched in partnership with the Football Association of Wales, benefits the game both nationally and locally by delivering accessible, high-class training facilities for young players and the wider football workforce in North Wales.

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