Football Federation of Australia’s High Performance Football School Program launched in Western Australia this month at John Curtin College of the Arts, and two sisters in the program are already making leaps and bounds into professional football.
Leticia McKenna (16) played for Perth Glory in the W-League grand final on the weekend, and her younger sister Tiyan McKenna (14) and team mate Hanna Lowry (15) are at the FFA Young Matildas camp on the gold coast before flying to Laos for the U16 Asian Cup qualifiers.
Only three schools in Australia have the prestigious High Performance Football School Program, with John Curtin College of the Arts selected as the school of choice in Western Australia.
John Curtin’s Football Program Coordinator and President of School Sport WA, Peter Rickers acknowledged that the FFA wanted to create connections between schools and community football, and this program recognised that schools were doing an amazing job.
“Our college’s commitment to education, and not just to football, held us in high esteem for selection, as we work on how we can make every potential player a better player,” he said.
Seventeen of the best footballers in WA across Years 9 to 12 are given access to elite coaching to provide a pathway to professional football.
The program provides potentially talented identified girls and boys with additional high quality football co-education to enhance their overall football development.
“The program provides a football curriculum alongside an academic curriculum and players are provided with 12-14 hours per week of intense training as well as game time,” he said.
John Curtin College of the Arts has delivered a high quality, specialist football program since 1990 and was the first school in Western Australia to offer football as a specialist subject.
Principal Mitchell Mackay said the school was honoured to be one of three schools nationwide selected to host the FFA High Performance Football School Program.
“We have one of the best in school programs in Australia, are well supported by Football West and Perth Glory, and are best placed to work with this program and the FFA,” he said.
“Our program has produced 32 state representatives and five internationals in the past 12 months, with eight graduates earning a living playing in Australia or internationally, including Lisa de Vanna and Dino Djulbic.”
Applications for the college’s Football Program for 2020 entry are now open, closing at the end of May.