Grace, 18, who studies at NCC’s Epping Forest campus and is part of the college’s Tottenham Hotspur Football Development Programme, says she is proud to be representing her country – and is gradually building on her ultimate ambition to become an England Lioness!
She said: “I am excited to be part of the England Colleges squad. Football is my life and my passion. Every minute of every day I am somewhere kicking a ball or teaching other people how to kick a ball! It’s what I enjoy and I am looking forward to playing and training with different girls and continuing to develop as a player.”
As well as the trip to play against Italy in February, Grace will have many other opportunities through being part of the squad, such as high-profile fixtures and an overnight training camp at the FA’s St George’s Park – home training ground of England’s national football teams.
Already she has played in a match against Bristol Under 21s and the squad will take on the Independent Schools team in their next game. They then face the Army’s national side in a match in January.
Grace, who plays a strong defensive role in centre midfield, said:
“It’s been a good experience so far, meeting the other players and building new relationships, also observing and learning from different coaches.
“I’m really pleased to have had all these opportunities which have come about through the Sport course that I’m doing at New City College. Even my part-time job – where I coach football in local schools three times a week – I got through the college.
“The Tottenham excellence coaching programme at NCC has built my confidence and I am 100 per cent grateful to the Spurs coaches who have helped develop my game and my strategic thinking. It’s all helping me to look to the future where I’d love to play at a really high level and even aspire to be part of the England national women’s team.”
As well as playing for New City College and now the England Colleges team, Grace is training with the Dulwich Hamlet women’s team and has been signed as a semi-pro for Charlton Under 21s. Last year she made it through to the NFYL All Stars Southern Region squad after a successful trial.
Kane White, New City College Deputy Group Curriculum Director for Sport, said:
“Huge congratulations to Grace, this is great news for her. It is an honour to represent your country and everyone at NCC is really proud of her success in being selected from so many players in all the colleges across the whole of England.”
Along with Grace’s achievements, the Sport department are also celebrating another success in women’s football. The women’s team won the AoC Regional 7-a-side tournament for the first time, competing against seven other London colleges and beating them all. The girls now get the opportunity to attend the national championships for a weekend in April 2024.