What does Amber Lloyd credit much of her success in the coaching world to? For her, its self-belief. The 24-year-old, who is also an avid Brentford fan, plays an important role in inspiring hundreds of girls to play football at Brentford FC Community Sports Trust.
“I feel lucky to be inspiring the younger generation to play sports, have fun and keep fit,” she said. Yet Amber concedes that her own road to success hasn’t been easy. “I almost had to prove myself to parents and players that I could coach because I was female. But I love what I do, I stuck with it and put in the extra work just to ensure I wouldn’t make mistakes that could be picked up on.”
And for Amber, football dominates every aspect of her life. “At the moment my life is massively influenced by football: my job Monday-Saturday is coaching, watching Brentford on a Saturday and playing for Maidenhead Ladies on a Sunday," she explained.
Her passion for football began early; she started playing football when she was ten and by 15 was volunteering for the Trust. After gaining her Level 1 FA coaching qualification, she was enrolled on to the Trust’s Fearless apprenticeship programme back in 2013. In partnership with the Fearless Foundation, which was set up in memory of well-known sports journalist Danny Fullbrook, the apprenticeship scheme saw three young people benefit from tailored training and football qualifications.
And Amber has certainly reaped the benefits of the training; she now oversees the Trust’s Premier League girls’ programme and the well-known FA Wildcats programme, which aims to double female participation in football by 2020. This year alone, the girls’ football programme has engaged with more 400 girls in the local area.
“Growing up, I was not given the opportunities that a lot of young females footballers are given now,” she said. I hope to be a massive influence on these young footballers and become a positive role model for them.”
A view echoed by the CEO of Brentford FC Community Sports Trust, Lee Doyle. He said: “Amber epitomises everything we’re trying to achieve in female football: she is passionate, fearless and committed to her job as a football coach and role model. With Brentford’s new stadium been chosen as a proposed venue for the UEFA Women’s EURO 2021 tournament, Brentford FC and its Trust are working closely to encourage more girls to play and watch football. We need more coaches like Amber to help achieve that!”
Looking to the future, Amber hopes to gain her UEFA B coaching licence. She said: “I hope to gain more knowledge and experience of the game, which I can then pass on to the next generation of budding female footballers.”
For more information about our girls’ football programme please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 020 8326 7030.