As part of the professionalisation of women’s football, a number of the top clubs have set up academies, taking players aged from 16 up to 21. England FA are fully supportive of this because they want to develop more home grown players and more internationals. As part of this move, they want U18 players to have access to more and better training, strength and conditioning etc. So, Liverpool FC have turned to Rainhill once again. From September 2018, four of their best Academy players – Melanie Barlow, Ashley Beard, Emily Hickey and Isobel Binks – started in the Sixth Form with more joining in September 2019. They are studying a full course of A-Levels or BTEC Level 3. All four have been welcomed by the other Rainhill Sixth formers and they are doing well.

Ashley Beard Centre Back

Subjects: Sport, Applied Science, Health & Social Care

“The school have gone out of their way to help as much as they can. Everyone is really helpful and supportive”.

Emily Hickey Left Back

Represented England at U16 level

Subjects: Sport, Psychology, English Language.

“Its been awesome.  The school and the club have really worked well together to help me.  I live in Orrel, which is quite far away, but the club have put on transport to allow me to come to Rainhill”.

Isobel Binks Right Back

Subjects: Sport, Psychology, English Language.

“Everyone at Rainhill has been really supportive of our football and, especially with me being injured, this has meant its one less thing to worry about during my rehab.  It’s been boss”.

Melanie Barlow Centre Back

Subjects: Sport and Sociology

“The staff in the school have been very supportive since I started as I have made a few changes in the subjects that I have studied, but they have always given me the opportunity to try something to see if it was for me”.


U18 Rainhill Girls’ Team In September 2019, Rainhill Sixth Form will have a girls U18 football team.

They will be coached by Liverpool FC First Team Captain, Leandra Little. The team will have some of the Liverpool Women’s players, but it is open to all, regardless of your football loyalties, and it will be a ‘Rainhill Sixth Form Team’. It doesn’t matter whether you play for Everton, or have never tried the game… 2019/20 season could be your breakthrough year!