2013 was an exciting year for Wales in terms of Women’s football, with Wales hosting a UEFA tournament for the first time in its history. The Wales Women’s U19’s squad competed in the Championship against the best countries across Europe with 3 attendance records being broken for women’s games held in Wales.
For those that missed the chance to be part of this exciting event, the Championship was held in West Wales across 4 venues, Richmond Park in Carmarthen, Bridge Meadow in Haverfordwest and Stebonheath and Parc Y Scarlets in Llanelli. After some very exciting and dramatic games across the group stages, unfortunately Wales did not progress to the knock out stage. The final day of the tournament on the 31st August 2013, saw two very strong international sides, France and England, play off for the trophy, with France coming out on top after a long hard fight scoring two goals in extra time to seal the victory. <11l>
With the UEFA Championship providing such a great opportunity for aspiring coaches in Wales to learn from, the Welsh Football Trust offered a Coach Mentoring Scheme for coaches within the Female Game in Wales to participate in. The scheme followed 2 teams through the group phases, Wales and Denmark, to ensure that all teams of the tournament could be observed including the semi final and final games. The games provided the coaches, led by Nicola Anderson and Lauren Smith, Welsh Football Trust Women’s Coaching Coordinators, with opportunities to analyse the following specific areas:-
• the tactical set up and playing style of each team
• to study the technical and physical abilities of players
• set plays
• coaching/manager behaviours
It was a very successful project which saw over 50 different coaches from across Wales involved in the activities. Following games, coaches would report back in groups and deliberate how aspects of each game would assist Welsh coaches in their weekly training and games.
Moving on 6 months, and the Welsh Football Trust are continuing to ensure that the lessons learnt during the Championship can be shared across the country to all coaches. The Trust’s tutors have delivered a workshop, shaped by the staff and coaches who attended the Mentoring Scheme, targeting over 50 coaches. The workshop understandably entitled the ‘U19 Legacy Workshop’ has impacted coaches from the Grassroots game to the Welsh Women’s Premier League.
The Welsh Football Trust would like to thank everyone for their help and for their attendance during the Championship and the Legacy Workshops.