‘I didn’t know girls could coach football that well’: The experiences of female football coaches in the South East of England

Maria Mira Martinez, Rory Magrath, Rachael Bullingham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although women’s football has seen a significant growth of participation in recent years, this has not reflected in the number of female coaches. In this semi-structured interview research, we examine 10 female football coaches’ experiences in the South East of England. Our findings document three central findings: (1) participants were motivated to pursue a coaching career either due to a love of football, an alternative to a playing career, or were inspired by a recent increase of female role models in the game; (2) the institutional support networks (i.e., those established by the game’s governing body, the Football Association) were inadequate, forcing them to seek support from elsewhere, such as their family; and (3) consistent with previous research, all participants in this research had encountered some form of sexism in their coaching careers. Accordingly, this article con-tributes to a growing body of research centered on female coaches’ experiences of football.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2073-2086
Number of pages14
JournalSport in Society
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2023

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