Myriam Mackie, age 57 years old, tells us about her coaching journey to date, which has led to her current role with Whitely Wanderers.
I grew up in Manchester surrounded by Manchester United & Manchester City kits being worn by most of my school friends. I would always have a football at my feet & loved kicking balls around with boys & girls alike. There were no real opportunities at that time to progress into a team, so I just kept enjoying playing football in local parks, pavements, school grounds etc.
After watching the Women’s World Cup in 2019, I searched the BBC Sports app of which talked about the opportunities in your community for anyone wanting to ‘get into football’.
Here is my journey…
March 2019 - Find Your Feet.
I attended my first ‘find your feet’ session at AFC Totton. It was an inspiring feeling being able to connect again with likeminded girls, kicking a ball around & generally re-connecting with football. I kept attending every Monday night.
June 2019 - Whiteley Wanderers FC End of Season Tournament/Presentation
Every year my local football club, of which my son (now 15 yrs old) has played for since a young lad, hold an in-house tournament for all the age groups. I was watching the girls & boys team’s play & found myself wondering whether there was some way I could be involved more. I approached the Club’s Chairman at the tournament who told me that they were being granted extra funding to develop the girls’ side & were wanting to get 2 ladies involved in the coaching. A few weeks later I attended the ‘wildcats’ (4-5 year olds) session to see whether I could be part of its programme.
July 2019 - Whiteley Wanderers Wildcats.
I acted in a support role with the coach who was delivering a football programme every Friday for 1 hour to girls aged 4-5 years old. I gained experience from the main coach as well as 2 other coaches who often joined us (one being the chairman). I found this to be both enjoyable & encouraging in which you could see a positive spirit & increased interest levels in most of the girls, of whom some carried on joining teams to compete in leagues as they progressed into the next age group.
Working with this age group is familiar to me as I work in a primary school.
February 2020 (1 week) - AFC Totton
FA Level 1 Coaching Skills - Ladies only group.
I achieved the certificate including safeguarding & 1st aid.
June 2020 to Present - Whiteley Wanderers Wolves U15 Boys Manager
My son’s team found themselves in a position where their coach was leaving to go to University in Manchester. The team were close to folding. I put myself forward along with 2 male coaches & a female administrator to keep the team going. We were left with a team of around 12 players & have built it into one of 20 players with a waiting list. All of us as coaches, have a similar respectful mindset & communicate closely to make sure we are meeting the needs of all the players, from social & emotional development to technical skills building & driving home a ‘can do’ positive attitude.
I am committed to taking the boys into the U16 league season, though plan to re-join the girls football coaching side with the ‘wildcats’ 4-5years old age group once the season ends. I shall then be delivering a programme to just the Wildcats girls’ side of Whiteley Wanderers Football Club.
I hope my story can encourage other women to ‘go for it’ & use their passion for football to move into coaching & inspire others within the football community.
For more information about becoming a coach, finding coaching opportunities or CPD opportunities, please visit the 'Coaches' section of the website.
Or, contact Alice Weaving (Coaching & Workforce Football Development Officer): Alice.Weaving@HampshireFA.com