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12 June 2014

Gillingham FC proud to have another member of our Girls Centre of Excellence called up by England

A member of the Gills U17’s Girls squad has recently been enjoying a training camp with the England national side.

Evie Kenna received her first call up to a training camp, this one taking place across three days at St. George’s Park in Burton – following in the footsteps of Katie Startup who was called up to the England U15 squad during the same period.

A Central midfielder, Evie had a stand-out debut season with Gills U17’s during the 2013-14 campaign and was rewarded for some excellent performances with recognition by England as part of a 30-strong squad, alongside girls from all over the country at clubs including Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Leicester, and Aston Villa.

Led by Head Coach Brent Hills, who notably took charge of England Women’s 2015 World Cup Qualifiers last year following the departure of Hope Powell from the National set-up, the U17’s began day one with a session working on defending from the front, followed by structured possession games.

A thorough cool down in the hydrotherapy area followed at the end of the session, with an ice bath and pool session.

The second day focused on attacking, with two 90 minute sessions incorporating a number of shooting practices, before an inter-squad match on the third and final day to bring a close to a highly productive weekend.

Off the back of the training camp, Evie said, “When we arrived at St George’s Park Hilton Hotel, we were assigned our rooms and our roommates. All the other players had been involved with England before, and most of the girls play regularly in the England U17 team, so it was a little daunting at first, but I was soon made to feel really welcome.

“Every training session was videoed, and each evening we watched the analysis and received valuable feedback, as well as tips to prevent injury. We were also given dietary advice by the team’s nutritionist and underwent hydration testing over the course of the weekend.”

Evie went on the say: “The training facilities and coaching staff were first-class, and the whole experience was extremely professional and thoroughly enjoyable.

"I learned about a lot of areas of my game, and I now look forward to putting what I learned into practice next season here at Gillingham.”

Girls Centre of Excellence Manager, Henry Willard has been extremely impressed with Evie and said: “I’m delighted for Evie upon her call up to the national side.

“Since joining our U17s last summer she has proven to be a key member of the squad with a terrific work-rate, and this season just gone has been an instrumental figure in the centre of midfield. She came to us as a very quiet personality, but settled in very quickly and has been an absolute pleasure to have at Gillingham.”

Henry rounded things off by saying: “Our Girls Centre of Excellence has made outstanding strides forward over the past two years and we are delighted to have received the recent news from the FA that we have been granted a COE License to continue our great work next season."

Gillingham Girls Centre of Excellence shall be holding trials later this month for any female footballers looking to play at the highest level of girls’ football.  For more information and details of how to register for the trials, please click here.

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