Third year Sports, Physical Education and Coaching Science student, Ellen Martin, has signed with Aston Villa Women’s Super League 2 team. Martin has been a part of the University of Birmingham Women’s Football Club since joining in her first year of University in 2015 where she was selected and has remained a prominent player in the first team.
Last year, the University of Birmingham was selected as one of the eight universities in the UK to be an official FA High Performance Hub for women’s football. This programme from the Football Association (FA) aimed to provide both an educational and community-based setting to the recruitment of women’s football, allowing development of clubs and coaches to specifically inspire female football players and increase exposure of the women’s side of football. University of Birmingham was awarded this title due the phenomenal level of football displayed by our women’s football club and its achievements in bringing more of this stunning game to all levels of women throughout the west midlands.
Martins exceptional performance demonstrates the high-quality motivation and support provided by University of Birmingham’s coaches, clubs and High-Performance Centre, allowing her to exceed through the football programme pathway. Martin has recently stated in an interview for University of Birmingham that ‘The main reason I’m playing at the level I am today is because of the support of the programme at the Uni’ and that ‘If it wasn’t for the support of the club and coaches, the Performance Centre and especially things like strength and conditioning training that I wouldn’t have had access to otherwise, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I’d never considered all the extra bits that you need to be a professional player – things like understanding how to take care of yourself through nutrition, or how to develop fitness to maximise performance. I chose Birmingham because of the programme, and I’m so proud of what it’s helped me achieve’.
Its excellent to see the pure talent that University of Birmingham is nurturing especially within the female side of football. It isn’t just Martin that has achieved great success with the support of the University of Birmingham, many Alumni have reached great heights within the football sphere. Including eight past and present students currently playing for Premier League teams such as Alison Hall, Elizabeth Steele, Laura Cooper, Katie Sorenson, Sharone Buckle, Nadia Bacciochi, Pip Harmison and Jess Howard. Will Martin follow in the footsteps of some of University of Birmingham’s more well-known football alumni such as that of Izzy Christansen and Emma Follis who play for Manchester City and Birmingham City? We think so. We look forward to following Ellen Martins journey from beginning at a young age inspired by her dad to pay at a local Sunday league team, to here at the University of Birmingham and now onto bigger and better things at Aston Villa. There is no looking back for this young aspiring athlete and we look forward to watching her progress and passion grow for the love of this game, wherever it may take her.