Sunderland Ladies’ sharp-shooting striker Abbey Joice will head off to St George’s Park in Staffordshire for a two-day training camp with head coach Mo Marley on 20th and 21st October.
The former Gateshead College student from Blakelaw will be joined by Sunderland development squad players Tyler Dodds and Chloe Johnson.
Eighteen year-old Abbey, who has just left Gateshead College’s Academy for Sport with a National Diploma in Sports Science to study at Northumbria University, made an instant impact on the first team last season following her stand-out performance in the Lady Black Cats’ narrow FA Cup defeat to Liverpool. This season she fought back from a long-term injury to play a starring role in the team’s promotion push, with the team in pole position to clinch a place in the Women’s Super League Division 1.
She said: “I’m really looking forward to this opportunity as it will not only improve our skills but also give us the chance to show the England coaches what we’re capable of.
“It could open doors for us to be invited back or chosen for the national squad, so we’re all going to give it 100% to make the most of this opportunity.
“My studies at Gateshead College have given me a great foundation that I can build on to achieve sporting success. Through the course I’ve developed my technical skills, improved my strength and conditioning and gained knowledge of other things, such as good diet, motivation and teamwork.”
Tyler Dodds, 18 from Houghton-le-Spring, is also set to join Northumbria University after completing a Level 3 Coaching and Fitness qualification at Gateshead College’s Academy for Sport, which is located at Gateshead International Stadium. Meanwhile 16-year-old Chloe Johnson, from Gateshead, joined the college this year to study for an NVQ in Activity Leadership.
Middlesbrough teenager Emma Kelly, who is also part of the Lady Black Cats squad, will join Chloe, Tyler and Abbey at the training camp.
Melanie Reay, women’s football coach at Gateshead College and Sunderland Ladies, said: “The girls are doing so well for the club and it’s great that they have been recognised and called up to the England training camp.
“They are the latest in a long line of Gateshead College students – including England star Jill Scott – who have gone on to achieve notable sporting success after completing their studies at our Academy for Sport.”
Gateshead College boasts 13 specialist sports academies which offer state-of-the-art facilities as well as first-class training, coaching and advice. The facilities at the Academy for Sport include classrooms equipped with sports science and medicine facilities, a performance lab, aerobics studio, learning resource centre, an 83 metre-long athletics hall, outdoor artificial and grass pitches and a floodlit throwing area.