ECA continued to accelerate its work in exploring critical medical and performance topics in women’s football as the long running ECA Women’s High Performance Advisory Group took place in Lisbon last week.

The initiative, a key element of ECA’s ‘Be a Changemaker’ strategy, is dedicated to exploring medical and performance topics specific to female players and brings together club experts from across sports science, physiotherapy, and medical departments to steer ongoing research studies and share knowledge.

This edition, hosted by SL Benfica, saw over 50 club representatives participate in an enriching two-day programme at the clubs training centre and the Sport Lisboa e Benfica Stadium

Under the leadership of Claire Bloomfield, ECA Head of Women's Football, significant progress has been made in tackling neglected areas of research and advancing the thinking critical issues relating to high performance.

The Advisory Group has grown considerably in size since its inception in 2021, a clear demonstration of the value it brings to our member clubs, and their desire to work together to tackle issues around training, injury prevention and rehabilitation,” said Claire Bloomfield.

“The Group is also playing an increasingly important role in informing our decision making on topics such as the international match calendar and maternity regulations, and our session in Lisbon has afforded us another opportunity to capture their insights at a critical juncture in women’s football.

“We are delighted to be bringing the Group together at the home of SL Benfica on the back of their successful UEFA Women’s Champions League campaign and look forward to strengthening ties with the women’s football community in Portugal.”

In addition to learning about SL Benfica’s training philosophy and approach to player wellbeing and development, club case studies were also presented by AC Milan and Montpellier HSC, as well as an extensive clinic on deceleration with Dr Damian Harper, the founder of Human Braking Performance and Lecturer in Coaching and Human Performance at the University of Central Lancashire, England.

Claire Bloomfield added: “We’re able to attract and collaborate with leading industry experts and academics which is a real testament to the work and long-term commitment ECA have made to the women’s high-performance space.

The ECA Women’s High Performance Advisory Group is yet another great example of how clubs from across the ECA family can be competitive on the pitch and collaborative off it, always with the game’s best interests in mind.”