As female football at Burnley FC in the Community continues to grow, 15-year-old Amber Day, a year 10 pupil at Unity College in Burnley, is testament to the power of the sport.

After having an operation to correct and mitigate long standing conditions on both her feet and facing a lengthy recovery process, Amber became a little reclusive, distant and intimidated by the prospect of what was to come when she fully recovered. Her mum, Jo, described her as “shy, quite an introvert and someone who was desperate to find her place.”

After being given the green light to return to physical activity, Amber contacted BFCitC and attended her first female football session, meeting Female Football Development Officer, Matt Bee and Female Football Development Coach, Taylor Gregson in the process.

Since getting involved with BFCitC, Amber has seen a complete transformation to her life and now attends approximately eight hours of sessions a week.

BFCitC’s Taylor said: “Upon meeting Amber it was clear to see that she was a little reserved therefore we used football as a tool for her to develop her social skills and confidence.”

Over the course of weekly sessions, Amber’s confidence began to shine through and she has been the recipient of some of the fantastic opportunities that have been created at BFCitC, including stepping into the competitive footballing environment in the under 15 squad at Burnley FC Girls and Ladies.

Amber’s new skills made her the perfect candidate for the new Premier League Girls Football Leadership Academy, successfully gaining a place on the programme that challenges young girls to become leaders and role models within the female game.

Alongside this, Amber secured a place on the Burnley FC Youth Board, helping to shape the club and wider town and also volunteers as a coach at BFCitC’s FA Wildcats Centre, supporting staff in creating fun and engaging sessions catering for the needs of young female players.

Female Football Development Officer, Matt Bee said: “One of the best aspects of our work, is that we get to work with young people like Amber, who are passionate, committed and have great potential.”

“For me, Amber is a beacon of light for all those who wish to follow in her footsteps. The progress that she has made over recent months is a testament to the hard work she has put in. I have no doubt at all that Amber has a bright future within this line of work, and I will do everything that I can to make sure that she is in the best position possible.”

Of her progress, Amber said: “All of this has given me increased skills and aspirations for the future and I hope that I can make my family proud. I am grateful for the programme and the coaches, as without them this dream that I am currently living just wouldn’t be possible.”

Jo Day, Amber’s mum said: “Both myself and Amber’s dad Richard are very proud of her commitment to football and appreciate the support she gets from Matt, Taylor and the team at Burnley FC in the Community. We have seen a change in our daughter that once seemed unachievable, she is a happy 15-year-old who is flourishing into a great young lady, one that will help change the lives of others. We are just so proud.”

To find out more information on how to get involved with Female Football at Burnley FC in the Community, contact Female Football Development Officer, Matt Bee on 01282 704 716 or email m.bee@burnleyfc.com