New Brighton & Hove Albion women development squad manager Amy Merricks believes that the opportunity to be part of the club’s incredible female programme was too good to turn down.
The 21-year-old was appointed the the first full-time female coach at the club after working for Women’s Super League Two (WSL 2) club Millwall Lionesses.
Albion women’s philosophy of playing a possession-based game with a purposeful style of play is something which greatly appealed to the talented young coach and she is eager to make a big impact at the club.
She told seagulls.co.uk, “I’ve been really interested in the rise of the club in the women’s game over the last two years and to find that they have access to facilities which match their ambition is very exciting indeed. I’ve also worked with James in the past at Gillingham and I really like the style of football his team play.
“It buys into my own philosophy and once I heard they were looking to bring someone else on board, I got in touch with Tracy [Doe] and James, took a session and it went from there.
“I was manager of the under-17 side at Millwall and then I became assistant manager to the development squad team that played in the Women’s Super League Development League.
“I wanted more of a managerial position in a senior set up and to push on in my career. The facilities and set up is so professional that I couldn’t say no and this is such a great environment.”
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The young coach feels everything is in place for the team to compete in the Women’s Super League and says it is a very exciting time to be a player at the club.
“The players have a great opportunity here and they have access to some superb facilities and equipment. I haven’t seen a set-up as professional as this in the women’s game.
“Even behind closed doors they’re 100 per cent ready, so it’s really exciting and I hope that the club has an opportunity to play in that league in the near future.”
But the immediate aim for Merricks is to get players into James Marrs’s squad and she is confident that the quality of the FA Women's Premier League (Reserves) Southern Division will aid this process.
“We’re in quite a competitive league for this season and there are a lot of good teams in the division.
“There will be a number of clubs that will look to make strong impressions at the start of the season, but the main objective for me is to get a high number of girls into the first-team set-up.
“We can do that in this league because it’s so competitive. We’re facing the likes of Charlton, West Ham and Tottenham, so it will be interesting to see where we end up this season.”
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