Powell: Health comes before football

Head Coach Hope Powell says the health of everyone involved has to take priority over any debate about when the women’s season can finish.

By Bruce Talbot • 31 March 2020

By Paul Hazlewood
Albion head coach Hope Powell.

Albion haven’t played since facing Tottenham in the Women’s Super League on 23rd February and the players have been training on their own for more than a week since lock down measures were put in place to help fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Powell said, “We don’t have a crystal ball, we don’t know how long this situation will last and when we will play again but from a coach and player perspective we want the season to finish.

“But the health and safety of everyone involved is absolutely paramount and we need to leave it to the decision makers, who will be in contact with medical advisers and the Government, and they will make the right decision about when we can play again.”

Powell and her staff have organised personal training programmes for the first-team squad and Regional Talent Centre players and the professionals take part in training sessions via Zoom video conferences four times a week.

By Paul Hazlewood
Albion celebrate scoring against Manchester United.

“It’s been quite nice not having to get up at 5.30 every morning but the last few days have been full on,” said Powell.

“We had a challenging week organising the players from first team down to regional talent centres – training programmes with players and staff, organising regular meetings. It is busier than being in the office.”

Some of her players have taken time between training to contact Albion’s elderly supporters as part of the club’s plan to reach out to the over-70s, particularly those who may be self-isolating, among their fan base. 

“What I really like about the club is they think about the person first and the football second,” added Powell.

“We have a responsibility to be part of the wider community. It’s pleasing to see some of the initiatives that are in place and even more pleasing that so many staff and players are offering their services. It shows the beauty of Brighton, we want to be part of the community and help as much as we can during these unprecedented times.”

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