With women’s football becoming ever more popular, young girls are increasingly keen to get involved in the game – and although a few schools do now provide footballing opportunities for female pupils, it’s great to enhance this with some expert coaching.
Rubery resident Joe Robinson, who has coached Coventry City Ladies to success in the past two years, has set up his own coaching programme for girls of primary school age, aimed at developing essential skills as well as encouraging a passion for football.
Joe played for the West Bromwich Albion and Aston Villa academies as a youngster, so he values the importance of grass-roots football. But it was his involvement with Coventry that inspired him to help girls into the game:
“Being involved in women’s football at an elite level has really motivated me to provide opportunities for girls of younger age to have access to quality coaching,” says Joe. “The club is currently improving its youth system, and next year the junior teams will start at under-9 rather than U11.”
Joe, whom villagers may remember from his previous job at David Matthews Insurance in Alvechurch, runs after-school clubs for girls in Years 2, 3 and 4 at Chawson First School in Droitwich and Webheath Academy in Redditch, and would like to do the same at schools in the Village area.
He can also offer before-school “breakfast” and lunchtime sessions.
“A lot of the younger girls are starting from scratch – they are interested in football but don’t really know how the game is played,” says Joe.
With this in mind, he teaches them basic technique and ball skills, gradually building up to game-related practices.
As well as this, JR Football runs classroom sessions to explain the rules and roles of different players, providing the girl with a better understanding of the game.
Mark Bartle of Chawson First School, comments: “Joe has provided engaging and enjoyable coaching sessions for our girls, who thoroughly enjoy learning football-specific skills each week.
“At the end of each session the girls leave with huge smile on their faces and can’t wait to tell me what they have achieved. I really hope this gives them the opportunity to become football stars in future years!”
Joe, who has a degree in Sport Business Management, can coach a maximum of 20 girls in one session, ensuring they all receive the highest-quality tuition. He is a UEFA B licensed coach and also has an FA qualification for coaching disabled and deaf footballers, plus an enhanced CRB check.
Meanwhile, he’s hoping that Coventry City Ladies, who currently top the FA Women’s Premier League Northern Division, can continue to push for success on the pitch. In the Women’s FA Cup, the team has already progressed to the fourth round after a 3-0 win over Super League 2 side Oxford United.