Year 12 footballer Tilly Leather has been awarded a place on the FA Regional Youth Network (RYN) for the Midlands as one of just two representatives from Bedfordshire. She is one of the youngest members and will now attend meetings twice each month to discuss development in football and influence change.
The purpose of the RYN is to ensure all young people have meaningful opportunities to develop themselves and positively influence the football community. Meetings are held at a regional and national level to discuss topics such as opening more sporting hubs in the UK, the development of female football and access for disabled players.
Prior to being selected for the RYN, for the past two years Tilly has been an active member of the FA Youth Council for Bedfordshire, an application-only youth leadership programme for players aged 16-25. At 17 Tilly is currently the youngest member and the only female.
Tilly commented: “I am really pleased to have been selected to represent my county in the regional network and to have the opportunity to be part of the national football community. I hope to pursue a career in football focussing on analysis and data so this will hopefully help me develop contacts for the future.”
Tilly has played as a centre back for the Hitchin Belles for the past few seasons but has recently signed for Bedford Ladies FC, the County Cup winners for the 2020-21 season.
Director of Sport at BMS, Simon Sinclair, added: “We are absolutely delighted for Tilly and this is a fantastic achievement. She is hugely committed to sport at BMS and this is a great opportunity for her development.”