This week I caught up with Tommy Little who for the past three and a bit years has been the lead coach for Glasgow City FC 13’s. Now recently retired from coaching, I caught up with him to get his views on the beautiful game.
So from what I’m told you were a player yourself? Can you tell me a bit more about those days?
I was a late developer in the game. I played for my boys brigade team when I was about 10 or 11 and I didn't play organised football again until I was 15.
After the first season I was signed by Albion Rovers which to me at the time was like joining Real Madrid. Afterwards I was invited down to Barnsley where I quickly realised I wasn’t half as good as I originally thought.
When I returned home I went on and spent some time at juniors and subsequently the amateur game where I enjoyed my best years, finishing up at the age of 33.
Coming back to your time as lead coach, could you tell us your biggest success story?
In my time at City I have been blessed with the opportunity to coach some very talented girls. But if I was to pick a single player, it would have to be Sophie Allison who was my goalkeeper throughout my time at city. She really will be a star in the womens game.
I also had two fantastic captains in Murron Cunningham and Karsey McGlinchey, both terrific players in their own right. With the direction the womens game is going both kids have the ability to write their own pages of history.
In your coaching hours, was there a specific philosophy and attitude that you looked to implement into your age group?
The philosophy at City suited my style of coaching in that all players are encouraged to get the ball down and pass it. We focused heavily on the young players improving their first touch as, in my opinion, this is the most important thing in a football player.
We also emphasized that having great ability will never work if you don't have the right attitude.
So for any developing coaches out there what advice could you give them?
It’s very important to make yourself heard. I don't mean bawling at the top of your voice. I mean the whole group must be able to hear the instruction otherwise you will lose their interest and the session deteriorates into a rabble.
If you were to change anything about the girls side of football, what would it be?
People’s attitude! There is this misconception in this country that the women's game is of a poor quality.
Most of the people who have this idea have never watched a women's game in their life but feel qualified to express an opinion. I have encouraged a few people to go along and watch the Glasgow City Seniors and tell me what they think. I've yet to have anyone come back and tell me they didn't enjoy it.
So what next for your retirement?
Now that the coaching gear has been stashed away I'll be concentrating on getting my golf handicap down. I will miss working with the coaches and players at City immensely and will always remain a supporter. I could not have wished to have finished my coaching career at a better club.