University of Sunderland looks to unearth the next Jill Scott after launching scholarship partnership with SAFC Women

The search is on to find Sunderland’s next Jill Scott.

Fresh off the back of England Women’s Euro 2022 success, the city’s university has teamed up with Sunderland AFC to offer a unique opportunity to help unearth the next generation of Lionesses.

Team Sunderland, the sports division of the University of Sunderland, has partnered with Sunderland AFC Women to offer scholarships to budding stars of the future which will hopefully bring through the next Jill Scott or Lucy Bronze – both of whom previously played for the Black Cats.

The University is looking for women playing in the National League, National Collegiate Athletic Association – for US overseas applicants - or equivalent standard who would like to enrol on one of the University’s many courses while at the same time being afforded the opportunity to pursue a football career.

The scholarship provides an opportunity to play and train with an elite club under elite coaches, all while studying at a “world class University”.

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Team Sunderland Sport Development Officer Laura Hockaday said: “This is a great opportunity for women to continue their football development alongside their studies.

Football as a career doesn’t last forever and this scholarship will help provide security to those wanting to enrol on a degree course while they play football.

Team Sunderland Sport Development Officer Laura Hockaday.

“We’ve seen with the lionesses’ success at the European Championships, where several of the team started their careers at Sunderland, that women from this region are capable of playing at the highest level and we’re hoping this scholarship will help to pave a pathway.”

Jill Scott, who played a key role in Sunday’s final, was made an honorary graduate of the University of Sunderland in July 2018.

A former Monkwearmouth Academy pupil, Scott started her career with Sunderland AFC in 2004. She moved to Everton in July 2006 and made her England debut a month later.

The new scholarship also offers up to £1,000 of funding, sports massage and physiotherapy, nutrition advice, sport science support and access to the CitySpace - the University’s fitness facility.

England lioness Jill Scott after receiving her honorary degree from the University of Sunderland. Picture: DAVID WOOD

The scholarship comes at a time of heightened awareness for the women’s game following the England team’s historic win against Germany at Wembley.

For further information on the scholarship, email Laura at [email protected]