Week Notes | October 23
The international break means no game this weekend, so a bit more time for thinking and less about game logistics! We have two players away for the week with England U19s and the Cyprus international team.
What I did
- Enjoyed the buoyant feeling (long may it last) that comes with a good start to the season, 4 clean sheets in a row in the Women’s Championship, with a draw away to Sheffield who remain unbeaten. We’re on same points as Liverpool right now and meet them next week.
- Caught up with the local police about break-ins, elsewhere discussed carparks, identified a key from an unmarked bunch to access the floodlights for a lux light level test - all in a day’s work!
- Took part in a work session alongside our board lead on diversity and a pathway colleague with Ediong Udom, who provides strategy support to diversify football participation, via TMVMT and Sport Shifts. We are trying to ensure we make sure we create a welcoming and inclusive environment for all girls and coaches, regardless of their background and this will likely involve a lot more work going to communities to deliver football sessions, not requiring girls to come to us.
- Had a number of talks (FA/a college/players/sponsor) to shape up our future players’ pathway and dual career offer to girls joining Lewes to make sure they can be the best player they can be — as well as reach full potential in the classroom. Trying to cost out the perfect structure so I can then figure out how to finance it.
- Met online with more than 40 Soroptimists from East Grinstead to Ghana and Sussex to South Africa to share what we’re doing to promote equal opportunity and rights for women and girls at Lewes FC and how on earth I ended up at the Dripping Pan, just a year or so after making speeches to the G20 and UN. I hadn’t heard of the Soroptimists before now, but what a great bunch of engaged, global women. We also got to hear about how the Fishguard community in rural Wales has backed their women’s team and how two young players Carys and Jasmine have been at the forefront of it for about 10 years, despite only just turning 20!
- Read this pretty shocking article on fat clubs and weight shaming in women’s clubs. Had a discussion with a player and shared with key staff to ensure we’re not being blind to issues. It’s so good to have more of these pieces about women’s sport public (thanks to The Telegraph working with Dr Alex Culvin in this instance) as at a minimum it helps act as a conversation starter.
- Had to let 2 or 3 players (or their agents) know that, regardless of talent and their desire to play in England, they simply are not eligible for consideration because they are not from a country in the top 40 FIFA-ranked countries. These rules are set only to get stricter on January 1st with Brexit.
- Applied for a role on the EU’s Expert Group on Gender Equality in Sport.
- Accredited a few more media reps interested in coming to watch our next home game v Liverpool (November 1st). This will be the first time in the history of the clubs that the two have faced each other!
- Was part of a really good conversation with a potential partner, who really understand what the club is trying to do in the next few years.
- Met with a board member for the first time in person since March — who told me he had nothing to ask because he just reads these now. Hi Ed!
- Had a good conversation with Alyse LaHue, General Manager of Sky Blue over in the NWSL, somebody whose leadership I have admired for a long time, and somebody I learn a lot from.
(By the way, I don’t mention all meetings or all people I speak to as I don’t want to accidentally create any strange dynamic).
Cool things you should know
- Our away shirt has been awarded in the National Football Museum’s top 25 shirts! I’m biased but I think it could knock off some of the others in the top 10, but we place 11th. Kappa have been a great partner to us at the club and we’re proud to be the only Kappa kit that features.
- We hit 50% of our target for raising money for Breast Cancer Awareness this month.
- We saw incredible leadership from Marcus Rashford. More from the club on this soon.