As we all know women’s football is going through a period of rapid progression, the SWF have set ambitious goals to get more young women involved in the game and Motherwell FC have decided to reinforce this by creating their own initiative which is aimed at getting youngsters of varying ages taking part in their local club. As part of their recently launched performance centre the North Lanarkshire club are looking to boost their 17s group by enlisting the help of experienced backroom staff. Newly appointed head coach Jim Erwin has joined us today to tell us more.
So what inspired this initiative and made you want to get involved?
Motherwell FC’s foresight and the quickly growing interest in women’s football in general spurred the new addition to their already popular performance centre. Performance manager Linda Gibson approached me about the head coach role after seeing my work with Hamilton Accies WFC.
What impresses you the most about Motherwell WFC?
Their focus and passion for the game and the desire to do things the right way. Speaking to the head of community trust, Charlie Bennett, I was immediately impressed by the way in which they incorporate ideas from both domestic and international clubs while creating a unique environment between the players and their coach. The synergy throughout the club as a whole is very refreshing and can only augur well for the future.
So I understand you are currently on recruitment drive, what do you look for in a player?
A full squad of players can bring such a variety of qualities, my task is to simply harness these talents. All I’m looking for is a person who can show a level of commitment and drive to do something to the best of their ability.
What do you personally feel you bring to the club?
Having spent over 20 years involved in women’s football both coaching and behind the scenes, I believe I bring a wealth of playing and coaching experience. There is one truth which has stayed with me from when I started out as a youngster through to today and that is the importance of football in the lives of young children. It gives so much more than the opportunity to play the beautiful game.
I also spent 15 years managing the under 17's section of Lanarkshire rivals Hamilton Academicals, during which time I saw team collect numerous honours and titles. Working with Glasgow Girls 17s as well as various roles with the SFW and the SFA has given me the opportunity to work both externally and within club structures, which has allowed me to become familiar with various aspects of how a club works.
What are your aspirations for the 17s team?
Number one goal will be to have a squad capable of competing in 2015 when the season begins in march. Longer term we will be looking to integrate the 15s and u17s to ease them into the transition they will face. If we look beyond that we all want to win and we will be aiming to be competitive throughout the season and to build from there. This is an exciting time because the club is very forward thinking and is adding to the resources already in place at Fir park to facilitate a tremendous youth structure.