As the Women's World Cup is quickly approaching, we would like to recognize and promote what females do within football at the AFA.
We have spoken to several women within the AFA, whether it be a coach or a member of staff at the office. We are incredibly proud to showcase our female talent!
Feature 2 - Billie Graham
Football role- Head coach at West Essex SSE Wildcats
How long you have been coaching?- I’ve been doing this for just over a year as we set up in April 2018.
What you like about doing this role?- What’s not to LOVE about doing this role? I love the fact we are offering an opportunity to girls in our local area that simply didn’t exist a year ago. Locally, clubs are happy to take on girls who already have an understanding of football and developed skills, but I have so many beginner girls who have previously been shunned. However, they are praised and welcomed in our environment and guess what? They end up flourishing in football! We’re changing mindsets of fellow coaches; parents and carers; boys; girls; everyone! The girls are forever changing my mindset too and I’m constantly learning from them. I’ve always loved smashing stereotypes and we smash them continuously in football!
What does it mean to you to be a female in sport?- I’ve always loved sport and playing it so being female in sport was something very natural to me. It’s the impact I now see; I was the first female at West Essex to become a qualified coach and we only had one female junior coach. We now have three female junior coaches and other women at the club stepping forward to complete their coaching badges. The girls we coach look up to us and our presence is having a positive impact.
What are you looking forward to in the World Cup & how well do you think the England team will do? - I’m looking forward to creating momentum and buzz within our whole club that we typically do for the men. I genuinely believe Steph (Houghton) will be lifting another trophy this summer!!