Alena Moulton: Widen player access to address black coaching gap in women’s football

“There is an issue, if you are looking across the elite game, that there isn’t that many [black players] across the youth system in elite establishments, and there isn’t that many represented in the coaching aspect as well.

“Until we get more playing, we are not going to see more getting involved in the coaching aspect.

“We need to see more that move on into the elite game and see it as an option.

“Then those girls need to move on into positions of coaching so then when they do go into these clubs, they say ‘well, there is someone that looks like me’. It is possible.”

A deep and impactful conversation is ongoing about ways in which football has neglected or underrepresented those from black, ethnic minority and other diverse backgrounds.

Just last week, Baroness Sue Campbell, the FA’s director of women’s football, labelled the organisation’s lack of black representation as “shocking”.

Focus on worrying statistics, like that which shows that only five managers in England’s top four leagues are non-white or from diverse backgrounds, have also come under renewed scrutiny.

However, direct comparisons between the numbers of black male players progressing to coaching roles, and those in the women’s game who do the same, are difficult to make, according to Moulton.

The factors that prevent some from progressing in the women’s game are multi-faceted and she also adds they disproportionately impact those from lower socio-economic backgrounds too.

“It is completely different [to the men’s game] and the issue is that people see it as the same thing,” said Moulton.

“A lot of the time, I get comments of, ‘well, you’re black’. They are judging that based off the experience of a black male which is different to being a black female.

“Are we really reaching those communities, or is women’s football elitist? If you look at our structure in terms of the female academies that are called RTCs, they often aren’t reflective of their communities because they aren’t based in the areas that are in the cities that everybody can access regardless of money.

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