Let girls play

International Women's Day 2023

Join us in celebrating the Women in Worcestershire doing amazing work in football!

We spoke to 4 Women in Worcestershire who are making an impact in football. Read below about how they got involved, what inspires them and what advice they'd give to young girls wanting to get involved! 

Jodie: Fulham FC Women. Women's Lead Pathway Coach (U18's and First Team) 

Jo: Vicechair of a grassroots club, Assistant Welfare Officer and Team Manager

Lizzy: Team Manager and UEFA C Coach 

Issey: Football Development Officer and Player

How did you initially get involved in football?

JODIE: “Like many women my age involved in in the game, I initially got into football aged 7 with my local grassroots club where the only opportunity to play was within the boys team, options for girls to play were extremely limited. As I got older I thankfully got more chances to play, but they were still very limited due to lack of teams and travel. Years later, aged 16 I was asked by my local club to help with coaching the very first girls only team. Now years on from that I am coaching fulltime within a professional club and still support my grassroots club remotely with girls and women's football development.”

JO: “Started with helping my daughters team 10 years ago until they got someone else. However I ended up doing my coaching qualification and staying with them from under 11s till they finished at under 17s then took on another team within the club.”

LIZZY: “I started playing football at U10s for Droitwich Spa Football Club and played until the age of 16. I then played for the ladies team for a year and decided I no longer wanted to play football but I was keen to carry on within girls/ women's football and decided to start coaching.
From May 2021 - September 2021 I assisted Wildcats (girls aged 5-11) with training sessions, incorporating fun, engaging sessions for a mixture of ages and abilities.
From September 2021 - present I have been coaching Droitwich Spa Under 11s Girls, designing and delivering practices both on training and matchdays intended to develop and enhance player learning, whilst embodying the club's ethos of enjoyment and fun.
From September 2022 - present I have also been assisting coaching Droitwich Spa Under 14s Boys.”

ISSEY: “I started playing at the age of 5 with a local boys team and it all started from there. My Grandad was a huge influence on me and being a coach himself, it inspired me to not only play football but to become involved in the coaching side of things too. I have played for numerous clubs both in West Sussex and Worcestershire, trialling for Millwall Lionesses as well as playing in the Women's Performance Team at the University of Worcester. I now play for Worcester City Women.”

What do you love most about being involved in football?

JODIE: “The thing I love the most about being involved in football is helping provide opportunities I didn't get. I really enjoy how I am part of something which offers girls right from a younger age the chance to regularly play and not be as limited to continue playing as they get older. Environments now exist which are just for them to try football and hopefully enjoy it enough to stay involved - whether this be developing at a grassroots level or progressing to an elite performance based level. I love it!”

JO: “Started with helping my daughters team 10 years ago until they got someone else. However I ended up doing my coaching qualification and staying with them from under 11s till they finished at under 17s then took on another team within the club.”

LIZZY: “Seeing all the young people I work with being inspired, having fun and improving not only on their footballing skills but also essential life skills. Being able to coach football in a fun and enjoyable environment!”

ISSEY: “The people. Getting to play and work in the sport I love is a dream come true for me but the people make it what it is. The football family is a big one but you'll always find people that know one and other, mutual friends etc. But the fact I get to work in football every day and play is a privilege in my eyes.”

What advice would you give girls looking to get into a similar role to yours?

JODIE: “Get involved and take up opportunities that you can! See the longer-term value in volunteering and having a hard work ethic can support opening a lot of possibilities. I have been fortunate to learn and shape a career in football, now coaching fulltime, based on volunteering for many years with my local grassroots club alongside networking with The FA and County FA.”

JO: “Go for it! When I did my coaching qualification I was the only female and really nervous as I’d never played football, but everyone was so helpful. Things have thankfully improved, but don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone, it’s so rewarding to be a part of the female game.”

LIZZY: “Take part in as many CPD developent groups and events as you can, you learn so much from them and it's a great way to network with other coaches too! Push yourself out of your comfort zone and try new things with your players and within your sessions! Believe in yourself!”

ISSEY: “I would say follow your passion. What really inspires you and who inspires you? Football has always been my life and I've also always held a burning passion to help other people. So why not combine the two? It's about what gives you motivation and drive. For some, that might be a coaching role or football development, for others it might be pursing a dream to play professionally. But you have to commit whatever you decide to do and make good contacts whenever and however you can.”

Who inspires you and why?

JODIE: “I have been lucky to volunteer and work with some fantastic people. There are some great female coaches and positive examples who are trailblazers in the game, such as Hope Powel, Emma Hayes, Sarina Wiegman, and local to home Stacey Miles - West Midlands based FA Coach Developer plus Nicole Alison - Worcester City Women FC.
However, whilst we still need more female role models it is important that we have male allies too. A lot of my inspiration over the years has come from Peter Manion - my local grassroots club chairman who has given 33+ years of his life providing football for children and adults in the local area. Peter is also an big advocate for female football and has always encouraged my growth as a person and as a football coach.”

JO: “All those female footballers that have played in boys teams as there weren’t any girls and continued because of their love of the game, all those girls who want to play football, these inspire me to keep going with my coaching.”

LIZZY: “Within football, Alex Scott. Not only was she a great player for both Arsenal Women FC and England, she is now a TV Broadcaster for the BBC, who proved many people wrong. She became the first female pundit at a World Cup for the BBC in 2018 and has inspired thousands of other young girls to get involved within football.
Outside of football, my Nana. My Nana, who lives in the US is the most strong, independent woman I have ever met. She always has time for others, is kind, caring and inspires others to be the best version of themselves. She is selfless and is always able to light up the room!”

ISSEY: “My Grandad. Without a doubt. He's the most down to Earth person you'll meet, an avid Millwall fan and would always be the person to take me to football, whether it was training or matches home or away. I always want to achieve in life and in football, whatever role I'm in, but not just to prove things to myself but to make my Grandad proud too.”