A full programme of events, coordinated by Alex Walker, the DCFA’s Football Development Officer, and Pete Lansley, FA Coach Mentor Developer for the East Midlands, helped introduce the next generation of new female coaches to the possibilities of the industry.
To kick off a full day that led to Pride Park, Sam Griffiths, the Derby County Football Club Women’s Manager and Coach Development Officer for the FA, invited local female coaches from a variety of clubs to the University of Derby.
There, the young (or young at heart!) coaches were introduced to the FA’s Playmaker course.
During the session, aspiring coaches had the opportunity to share their knowledge and encounters in coaching. There was a wide variety of experience on show, from adults wanting to complete the next stage of their coaching journey, to young female players who want to get into the profession.
Emily Martin, who plays for Ashbourne Aztecs Girls U15s and the Derby County Emerging Talent Centre, said: “It was interesting to hear other players’ and parents’ views on their expectations of a football coach, but it was also good to see that the core skills that are expected [of a coach] are very similar.”
In the afternoon, attendees made their way to Pride Park, home of Derby County, to watch the Ewe Rams take on Nottingham Forest Women. In an action-packed game, the young coaches were able to watch Griffiths’ team, who started 2023 with six successive victories, in front of a record attendance for the fixture of 5,243. Derby played with great heart but lost 2-0.
After the match, the budding female coaches attended a Q&A session with Griffiths to round up the day's events. The culture of coaching was clearly portrayed during the talk with the former Ewe Rams midfielder, who articulated what she believes makes a great coach.
Following the talk Louise Davies, coach at Ashbourne Aztecs said: “Sam offers other female coaches a level of reassurance on their capabilities: on interpreting the game, making decisions and being confident in that role.”
Griffiths is helping the promotion of female coaching. She said: “I see every player as a person first, and get to know and understand them, before thinking about the football.”
Bringing over 20 years experience, Griffiths will be heavily involved in the progression of the female coaches’ club in the near future. Members will now have the opportunity to attend further CPD sessions to help them move forward with a career in coaching.
Written by Freya Harper