Staff and students at CONEL – north London’s leading college – are celebrating the formation of the College’s first Women’s Football Academy team.

Set up and run in partnership with League 1 professional football club Charlton Athletic and an integral part of CONEL’s existing Football Academy at the College’s Enfield campus, the women’s team has started training and will soon be competing against teams from other London colleges in the AOC London Women’s League.

Head of Sport at CONEL Jonathan Silman said: “We’re delighted to have our first women’s football team, with the support of Charlton Athletic. It’s building on the success of our men’s football Academy programme and is something we have been working towards for a number of years.


“The football facilities at Enfield are excellent, with indoor and outdoor pitches and a fantastic outdoor 3G all-weather pitch, as well as a fitness suite and physio facilities. But the players can learn here too. CONEL runs courses from Accounting, Business and ICT, to Construction and Engineering, as well as English, Maths, Hairdressing, Beauty, and Travel and Tourism – and it’s this environment for players to learn and train in, that makes the Academy so helpful for young players.”

“Academy members receive 6 hours of professional football coaching per week, Wednesday afternoon matches, full physio injury support, strength and conditioning programmes and an opportunity to join the Colleges Sponsored Athlete programme with a host of benefits.”


Team Coach Josemar Santos holds the internationally recognised UEFA B Licence. He coaches his teams to play possession-based football to prepare them for the demands of the modern game, and is the ideal coach for the new women’s team. He said: “We’re really really proud to be the first women’s team at CONEL. We’re really excited and the girls are excited as well to be part of this journey.

Mine Ozkoylu studies Hair & Beauty at CONEL and trains for the team each day. “I’ve been playing football since I was in primary school. The team is good for me because you can make friendships and learn to play as part of a team. I would like to be a beautician and a footballer when I leave CONEL.”

Leoarta is another team member, who also studies Hair & Beauty at CONEL. She said: “Being selected to join the Academy makes us feel great because we’re the first female team for the college, and it’s a big responsibility for us to make the college feel proud.”