SPANISH striker Laura Del Rio will combine playing with coaching this year as she takes on the under-18s head-coach role at South Gloucestershire and Stroud (SGS) College.

Del Rio has committed to Bristol Academy on and off the field.

The 16-18 youth programme is based at SGS College in Bristol, where players are able to combine training with education at the elite facility.

Bristol Academy’s 2013 WSL squad featured 11 players who had attended SGS College, which highlights the strong youth development link between the U18s and first team squad.

Club president and SGS principal Kevin Hamblin said: “We are delighted that Laura is staying with us for next year, and she will be taking a more active coaching role with our 16-18 programme.”

Del Rio, who has played professionally in Germany and America for Frankfurt and Boston Breakers respectively, is excited for the new challenge and is proud to play a part in the club's future.

She said: “Bristol Academy have given me the opportunity to play and coach at the same time and at a very good standard.

"Bristol is a big family - it reminds me to my days in Valencia. Here I feel important for the team.”