A YOUNG businesswoman used her initiative to break into the "male-dominated industry" of football.

Anya Wood set her sights on a career in football while studying A Levels in law, business and physical education at Barrow Sixth Form.

During an open evening at the sixth form she heard about the University College of Football Business at the Etihad in Manchester and after a visit to City's stadium her mind was made up.

"I spoke with a current student there, who advised me to get work experience at my local football club to assist with getting my ‘foot in the door’ within the industry, prior to going to UCFB," Miss Wood, a former St Bernard's pupil, said.

"During my first year at Sixth Form I began work experience at Barrow AFC in my spare time from my A Levels.

"I would go on a weekday afternoon to assist the club's then commercial manager with selling sponsorship opportunities, including ground boards and match day sponsorship. I would also help out on a match day wherever I could; on front of house, club shop and in corporate hospitality."

Miss Wood's initiative was recognised by the UCFB and she received the Martin Prothero Scholarship which is awarded to an individual who demonstrates a strong commitment to furthering a professional career in football and sports business.

She used her time at UCFB to get her "name out there" and took every opportunity to network with football icons including Jamie Carragher and Dr Brian Barwick.

Miss Wood now works at Barrow AFC where she is continuing to develop her skills and understanding of the industry. Her ambition is to use her degree "to make a name for myself in the male dominated industry that is football".

Last month the club teamed up with Furness College to launch a new College Football Academy.

The academy will start this September for 16-18-year-olds who want careers in sports and related industries and Miss Wood believes it will offer an invaluable opportunity to youngsters considering following in her footsteps.

"The major advantage to the College Football Academy is for those individuals that are more practically switched on or aren’t as academically strong in comparison to others," she said.

"Having the opportunity to combine academic study and practical experience in an area you love will help you achieve anything you dream of."