Leigh College has welcomed two Manchester United Women first team players who enrolled onto BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma courses.

Winger, Ella Toone and Goalkeeper, Fran Bentley signed up and will balance their studies with playing for the newly formed elite team.

The College is conveniently placed for the young footballers who train at Leigh Sports Village and play their home matches for the Red Devils at the stadium on the complex.

The professional footballers are looking forward to combining their studies with their football commitments. Both players have represented England and Ella recently scored on her Under 23 debut against Sweden in the Nordic Cup.

Ella recently played in the first home match at the stadium since the relaunch of the team in front of a record crowd for the competition of 4,835.

She said: “I'm looking forward to the course, the tutors are really supportive and I can’t wait to get started. The College is a perfect location and means I can go straight to training after classes.”

The former Fred Longworth High School pupil was thrilled to have played in the teams’ first home match and despite the 2-0 loss to Reading Women, she added: “Playing in front of that crowd was amazing – the fans were brilliant.”

Ella has enrolled onto the BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma Sport Science course and will use that to gain knowledge and skills geared towards a possible coaching career in the future.

It’s never been a better time to enrol onto a sports course with the College; being a Centre of Excellence in Sport and boasting three academies with students achieving 100% pass rate.

Team mate, Fran has an interest in business after enjoying the course at GCSE level and has enrolled onto the BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma Business course.

Fran added: “I will get good support here and the staff will be here to help me with things like getting my work before, in order for me to take away when I am on Manchester United or England duty.”

Leigh College’s Head of Sport, Paul Heald said: “We are delighted to have attracted professional footballers, Ella and Fran to the College.

"We understand that playing for the first team will be priority for the girls but our staff are very supportive and will make their transition smooth and ensure that they get the best advice and guidance to supplement their learning and how best to balance it with being away on football duty.”

Ella came off the bench to score in United’s 12-0 rout of Aston Villa Ladies in their first WSL Championship match of the season on Sunday 9th September.

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