Needham Market Football Club appoints successful women’s manger Freya Louis as the Academies ‘Girl’s and Women’s Development Manager’.
Louis was head hunted, by academy director Robert Peace, to be the first development manager of women’s & girls’ football. At the age of 22, Louis has led the Market Women to two cup finals and secured second in the league in her first season at the club.
The club aims to expand their women’s provision for next season by introducing a Development Team who will train alongside the First Team and participate in the Suffolk Girls & Women’s League.
Louis, whose position will be as a volunteer outside of her day-time job, has revealed exciting plans for next season to help provide, influence, and encourage the next generation of female players.
“We have so many young, talented female footballers in Suffolk, and they need the correct pathway to help enhance their future in the sport.”
“We have a very successful women’s team and U14’s girls team, and we need to open up the opportunity to introduce additional age groups.”
“Needham Market Academy has the best facilities, and some of the most highly qualified coaches in Suffolk to become the home of Girls and Women’s football.”
“I’m really excited to be a part of one of the most progressive academies in the area. Their level of professionalism, encouragement, and equality for the girl’s and women’s game is often hard to come by.”
“I want to grow our SSE Wildcats sessions, encourage more age groups to be a part of Needham Market and help light the way for 16-19 year olds through the Academy.”
“It’s not going to be easy, but Needham are very serious about how they treat female football. It’s forever growing and having a female development manager will hopefully inspire more girls to get into the game.”
Louis – who will continue to manage the Market Women’s First Team – also runs a popular online blog, The Happy Gaffer, which she uses to expresses her thoughts and feelings of the women’s game in Suffolk.
“I set up the blog as an aim to connect with other female managers. It’s a way to get the women’s game out there through the eyes of a female!”
“I’ve had a huge response from it, and I’m glad it’s encouraging more females to talk about their experiences within the game.”
The club will continue with their full-time female students from September as they have also strengthened links with Suffolk New College and will enhance the female provision through a female AOC college team. This team will play on a Wednesday afternoon and be made up of Academy and Suffolk New College students.
Academy Director, Robert Peace said: “I’m delighted to have Freya as part of the Academy in the role of Women & Girls’ Development Manager. She is extremely passionate about female football and matches our ambition to develop the Needham Market FC and the Academy to be the home of female football in Suffolk.”
“Freya and I have discussed the short and long term goals for female provision at the club with the development of all age groups from the SSE Wildcats to the first team. The Academy is inclusive of female students and they have enhanced the overall experience the Academy offers.”
“Freya has also shown a high skill set in managing the Women’s team, finishing runners up in the league and reaching two cup finals in the first season which has exceeded all expectations. We are looking forward to the future with the first team competing in the Eastern Region Women’s Football League and establishing a clear pathway for talented females to progress within the football pyramid.”