With only 25% of managers in the Scottish Women’s Football national leagues being women, the SWF used International Women’s Day to highlight their coaching journeys.
This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is #EmbraceEquity and this is what one of the five women at the top of SWF game – Karen Mason of Inverness Caledonian Thistle – said about her own coaching journey.
How did you get into coaching?
It wasn’t something I had planned to do as early as I did. Unfortunately, a serious knee injury 12 years ago forced me to hang up my boots at the age of 23 after a couple of comeback attempts had failed. During the time being out injured I was helping out at training and being involved with match days. Our manager at the time then left, so I was asked by our late Chairman Sandy Corcoran if I would be willing to take it on myself and I couldn’t really say no, he was that kind of guy! Inverness has always been my team and I was honoured to be asked and take on the role.
Do you think a lack of women coaches and managers in the game is a problem?
I wouldn’t necessarily say it is a problem. There are probably many reasons as to why there aren’t as many but it is definitely an area that could be improved. It would be great to have more positive female role models in the coaching side as at the moment especially in Scotland there are not very many!
Girls in Scotland can now dream of becoming professional players. What needs to happen for them to dream about being a professional coach?
I think having more of them out there to be seen for starters to know that it is possible to achieve it. I think having more dedicated coach education and opportunity to progress through pathways would also be helpful.
Describe your Championship campaign this year.
I think in short it would be inconsistent and frustrating. We have such a talented squad full of so much potential but we haven’t always been able to produce performances on the pitch when it counts. We know and have shown that we can compete at this level and at the top end of the table but we have let ourselves down with errors that have proved to be costly over the course of the season so far.
What are your aims and ambitions for the rest of the season and next?
For the rest of this season our goal would be to take each game individually and look to try to improve as individuals and collectively as a team. We have struggled with consistency of players and injuries this year so hopefully we can get a few more players back before the end of the campaign and start looking forward to next season and rebuild again. We hope that next season we can learn from the experience of this year and be competing at the top end of the table where I know we are capable of.