CF Montreal is introducing a women's program to its academy, the club announced Wednesday.

The CF Montreal Academy is taking over the Women's Excel Program, a Soccer Quebec national development centre based in Laval, Que. The program is one of three Excel Super Centres in Canada for the best 15- to 18-year-old women in the province.

As part of the program, which is in partnership with BMO, the club will dedicate a week to women's soccer from July 10 to 15 and says it's aiming to host both the Ligue1 Quebec Women's Cup final and the Ligue1 Quebec All-Star Game.

The club says the objective of the program and its sport-study component is to help student-athletes excel both athletically and academically and serve as a pipeline to Canada's national youth teams.

Montreal became the first professional team in North America to offer a sports-study program when it founded its academy in 2010. The program partners the academy with local high schools so students can find a balance between pursuing athletics and keeping up their studies.

 The academy consists of more than 70 players aged 14 to 20, and includes under-13 and under-14 pre-academy teams.

"This is incredible news and a wonderful advancement for women's soccer," Gabriel Gervais, President and CEO of CF Montreal, said in a press release. "Quebec is home to a pool of highly talented women players. By launching this girls program, we want to offer these players the best path to a professional career and help them achieve their dreams."

- This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 31, 2023.