AN international footballer took time out of her busy schedule to help inspire the next generation at her former college.
Hartlepool-born Lindsay Johnson spent time leading coaching sessions with teenage girls at Hartlepool Sixth Form College, in Blakelock Road, as part of her academy at the college she used to attend.
The 33-year-old Everton centre-half, who has also been capped 43 times by her country, comes back to the college three or four times a year to coach the next generation.
She took time out yesterday to lead a session with teenage girls from around the town during their summer holidays.
Lindsay, who also teaches PE in Liverpool, said: “It was great to be back in Hartlepool and taking part in the coaching sessions at the college which I used to go to.
“A lot has changed since my day and the facilities and opportunities for the young girls are fantastic.
“I try and get back three or four times. It is tough with my schedule but I always enjoy it when I do.
“There are some talented young footballers in Hartlepool.” Everton are currently sixth in the Women’s Super League at the mid-point of the campaign in Lindsay’s 10th season at the club.
College officials say the Lindsay Johnson Football Academy for Girls provides a “comprehensive coaching and performance” programme for female footballers as part of their college timetable.
Members receive coaching on a daily basis, conditioning and fitness work, nutritional advice and game related analysis as part of their weekly studies.
Academy players also compete in the second tier of the British Colleges Sports North East women’s football league on a Wednesday afternoon competing against teams from around the region, including Middlesbrough and Gateshead.
Ben Robinson, director of sport at the college, said: “It is fantastic to have Lindsay back at the college.
“It really helps inspire those in the academy and those that may be thinking of joining, to have someone from the town who has gone on and done so well in the game.
“Lindsay is a real role model.”
Lindsay is expected to be back coaching at the college in October.
The college, which also has an established male football programme, netball academy and the rugby academy, launched the Lindsay Johnson Football Academy for Girls back in 2011.
For more information, call the college on (01429) 294444.