Sports scholarship opportunities available for ‘Next Gen’ applicants
The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) is strengthening its partnership with Blackburn Rovers Ladies through the formation of a new Rovers ‘Next Gen’ squad.
The forward-thinking initiative will enable talented youngsters selected to play for the team to combine their football education with academic study. In addition, the University has pledged to award sports scholarships to those who meet additional criteria.
Rovers new Next Gen squad is aimed at 18 to 21-year-olds who are eager to combine football with their education. Scholarship places are on offer for young and talented players who can train and represent UCLan in the British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) league as well as Rovers Next Gen team at the weekend.
The club is also looking to recruit 16 and 17-year-olds that are not yet old enough to attend university but are eager to play for the club at senior level.
Rovers first teamed up with UCLan ahead of the 2021-22 season as the University partnered with Blackburn Rovers’ Regional Talent Club (RTC). The University’s logo is proudly displayed on the front of the RTC’s playing kits while the club also benefits from the use of UCLan’s sporting facilities.
"The creation of Rovers’ Next Gen squad and the associated scholarships provided by our University will assist talented players from across the region to reach both their sporting and educational potential."— UCLan’s Director of Sport Dr Adrian Ibbetson
Rovers Head of Women’s and Girls’ Elite Football and first-team manager Gemma Donnelly is delighted to strengthen the club’s partnership with UCLan: “I am pleased that we are able to team up with UCLan to form our Next Gen squad.
“It is important that we bridge the gap between our RTC and first-team and this newly formed team will help ease the transition into senior football for our young players.
“We have enjoyed working with UCLan over the last few months, so I am excited to be working with them on this new project.”
UCLan’s Director of Sport Dr Adrian Ibbetson added: “This announcement marks an exciting new dimension in our partnership with Blackburn Rovers Ladies.
The popularity of women’s football continues to grow exponentially both nationally and here in Lancashire where at UCLan it is one of our focal sports.
“The creation of Rovers’ Next Gen squad and the associated scholarships provided by our University will assist talented players from across the region to reach both their sporting and educational potential.”
The Rovers ‘Next Gen Squad Expression of Interest’ form is now open for talented young players to register their interest in the new team. The club will contact and invite selected players to trial for the team in the upcoming weeks.