In May 2021, Olga Ocran was offered a place within our WSL Academy for the 2021/22 season. Previously being a player on the Club's Under-19 Football Development College Programmes in association with Barnet and Southgate College, here is the backstory of Olga's journey so far...
Before joining our Barnet and Southgate College (BSC) programme in September 2020, Olga played regularly at youth level and semi-professionally during the 2019/20 season which was cut short due to Covid-19. Having been a key part of the BSC college team in the 2020/21 season, scoring some superb goals and driving the team forward from central midfield, Olga will now be joining up with our WSL Academy squad for the 2021/22 season.
Q: How did you hear about the Club's Football Development College Programme?
A: One of my friends told me about the BSC programme, I looked into it and liked the idea of combining my education alongside football.
Q: Why did you choose this programme?
A: I chose this programme as I wanted to continue playing football and developing as a player. I saw this programme offered many opportunities and could potentially open doors for me that wouldn’t be possible elsewhere.
Q: What have you enjoyed about by being on the programme and how has it helped your development?
A: I have learned to be more organised, more accountable for myself and my actions and to focus on improving as a player at every session. Every session is an opportunity to learn and improve. I have enjoyed being able to play football three times a week with my friends alongside studying.
Q: How does you feel about joining the WSL Academy and what do you hope to achieve in the future?
A: I feel great and I am over the moon to be joining the WSL Academy, I know this is just the start and I have lots of hard work ahead of me. I’m proud of myself as I have reached my goal of becoming an academy player. I hope to gain a professional contract in the future and feel I am now in the best place to be able to achieve my dream.
Former Women's First Team captain Jenna Schillaci, who retired at the end of the 2019/20 season after an accomplished career, is now the Head Coach of the Girls BSC Under-19 team and has seen Olga go from strength to strength during the 2020/21 season.
Jenna has said: "Olga has worked hard since we returned to training post lockdown in order to secure her spot in the WSL Academy. She has brought WSL standards to our college programme and those standards have rubbed off on team mates. Olga is a naturally talented footballer, on the ball she is fantastic. We have worked with Olga on her off the ball work as that is an area she needed to improve. We have pushed her on this during every training session/matchday, we probably gave her a headache at times whilst doing so but she has taken the information on board and has seen the rewards."
Jenna went on to say: "We are all very proud of Olga and excited for her next chapter with the WSL Academy. At a time where women’s football and the opportunities around the game are growing each year, she is now in the best place to achieve her dream of becoming a professional footballer."