Continuing with our coverage for International Women’s Day (IWD), we spoke to Louise who has been working as a coach at Tranmere Rovers since 1992.
This year’s theme for IWD is #BalanceForBetter to promote a gender balanced world and here at Tranmere Rovers we have a high female employment rate behind the scenes at the club.
We spoke to Louise, Tranmere Rovers in the Community’s, girls and women’s development officer who has tirelessly worked to develop female football in the local and wider community.
Talking about when she first knew she wanted to work in football Louise said: “For me it was growing up watching Kenny Dalglish on the TV and I know you probably think that’s a bit strange and weird but there were no girls teams around back then.”
“To be honest I knew early on, I tell this story to quite a few of the kids that play for us [at Tranmere Rovers].”
“When I was in primary school our teacher got us to write down what we wanted to be when we left school, and everyone was writing down, nurses, doctors that type of thing and I said I wanted to be a football coach. The teacher laughed at me and said that’s not a job for girls now pick a proper job. I cried, and I was thinking, well that’s what I want to do.”
“Since then I have seen that teacher when I’ve come into this job and I tapped him on the shoulder and said ‘remember when you said I couldn’t do it? Well I’ve proved you wrong and I can’ and I will continue to do it and hopefully changed the mind set of people because if that’s what girls want to do as a job then they should.”
Talking of her love for the job and what it means to her Louise said: “It’s helping people develop, its having a kid come to you with a bit of an interest or love for football and helping them develop on the skills they have got and getting them on track by giving them the right advice.”
“From my point of view coaching is about giving something to the kids that I didn’t have when I was their age. It’s the feedback, it’s everything, you only get out of something that you put in. I think if you prep properly and put on a good session plan then the kids will learn from it and even the open age. You’ve got to keep it good, fun and interesting.”
Being in the sport for 27 years, Louise has seen the progression of the women’s game grow from nothing to where it is today. We asked her how she would like to see the game continue to grow:
“I think it needs to continue to progress at the rate it has done. I know there is currently a big push for girls plays in primary schools that is a must.”
“There are a lot more opportunities for women working in football now too, not just in coaching but higher up as well. For example, managing director, which we have here now with Dawn Tolcher.”
“Slowly but surely its changing the mind set of people but hopefully in the right direction but if I was to give any sort of advise to kids now I would say if you want to be a footballer just go for it same if you want to be a coach or a physio. Don’t have anyone telling you, you can’t do anything, if that’s what you want to do, do it.”
“A lot of my friends are male and they would love to do my job cause they just see it as football and that’s exactly what it is, football, not men’s or women’s, its just football and I treat everyone the same and that’s how it should be.”
If you are interested in coaching or looking for similar opportunities, then please get in touch with Louise on 0151 608 2354 or LouiseE@tranmererovers.co.uk
Keep up to date with all our International Women’s Day coverage on our social media channels @TranmereFITC.