Everton are proud to announce that Ridge City has become the first women’s football club to join forces in an exciting new partnership.
The Ghanaian club, based in Accra and formed just four years ago, is the newest addition to Everton’s International Academy Affiliation Program (EIAAP) as the club look to build on the huge progress made in the women’s game in recent years.
It is also the first African club to join the EIAAP programme, which aims to extend the knowledge and expertise of Everton’s player development processes to affiliated clubs worldwide.
Everton plans to help raise the profile of Ridge City Football Club by facilitating and developing the women’s game in Ghana and providing a pathway for players.
The two clubs will also collaborate on player and coach development, coach education and helping Ridge City establish itself as a foundational women’s club in Ghana.
Formed in 2018, Ridge City FC have thrived after a truncated start as a professional club due to the COVID pandemic, gaining promotion to the Ghana Premier League in just their third season, as champions of the First Division
The club, which currently has around 30 women in its ranks, plus a growing academy, aims to facilitate the development and promotion of women’s football in Ghana.
Ridge City’s mission also includes creating career opportunities for girls and women as footballers and in the technical and managerial aspects of the game, and to contribute positively to the rise of women’s football in Ghana.
Cleopatra Nsiah Nketiah, CEO of Ridge City, said: “I am very excited about the partnership. We have been looking for an opportunity like this for a long time and the most important thing for us is that women in Ghana are serious about play football.
“I think our relationship with Everton will help us on that path and let our people know that in Ghana you can play football and that there can be a professional career, maybe even an opportunity to travel to the Kingdom Join and try it.
“The environment and resources that Everton can offer is a huge draw and the opportunity to have online training programs to follow, and even possible visits from their coaches, is another real positive that we can take to help our women feel part of something bigger.
“I want the world to know that we can see a path forward for Ridge City and that this is a relationship we can’t wait to be a part of.”
The EIAAP initiative gives clubs at all levels of the game access to the best coaching knowledge from Everton’s renowned Academy to support growth, a level of support that sets them apart from more traditional models.
– A holistic approach to player, manager and club development, providing technical support from Everton’s Finch Farm training complex and commercial and marketing support from its Royal Liver Building commercial headquarters.
– Weekly support from a coach dedicated to the Everton Academy
– Full access to the Everton Academy curriculum
Under the EIAAP initiative, Ridge City coaches will have access to Everton’s state-of-the-art Finch Farm complex, home to Everton’s senior men’s, women’s and academy teams, for education and training.
Paddy Byrne, Everton’s international technical manager, is planning a future visit to the Ridge City to help share the Everton Academy curriculum and implement methods used at Finch Farm to develop both player and coaching skills.
In turn, this provides Ridge City Women with more knowledge and helps grow their club to achieve their vision and goals.
Byrne added: “We are delighted to welcome Ridge City as the inaugural Women’s Partner Club to the Everton International Academy Affiliate Programme.
“I am excited to work with Cleopatra and her team and help them build on the strong foundation established in just four years of existence.
“We believe there are many opportunities for them to grow, and by sharing our values and training methods, we will build the affiliate program into new territory.
“I’m sure it will be a fruitful partnership for both clubs, and we can’t wait to get started.”
The Everton International Academy Affiliate Club program that is available for grassroots teams, professional teams, youth academies, women’s and girls’ teams, as well as colleges and universities, was launched in 2020.
The program already has affiliates in the US, Canada, South America, Australia and Ireland.
To know more, visit EvertonInternationalAcademy.com