Gemma Davies has been with UBSport for five seasons – starting as the second team coach, and four seasons as the first team coach and head of the programme.She’s also been Head of Women’s Football and the Football Development Officer. Having also served as an assistant coach at Birmingham LFC, Derby County Ladies and Coventry United Ladies, it’s fair to say she’s got a lot of experience under her belt – and this first management role is the next step in her extremely promising career. We caught up with Gem for five minutes to hear her thoughts on this amazing news!
‘I will still be with the University in the same role – Head of Women’s Football. My role won’t change – but it’s not like I can ever leave! I love it far too much. Hopefully this appointment will have beneficial ties to the programme for things like recruitment, and profile of our amazing programme at the Uni.’
‘As well as helping to align the training between UoB and Aston Villa, which will obviously benefit the teams on campus a lot, recruitment and profile will have the biggest impact I think. It will mean a lot to people who are serious about playing football at a high level to come to a university where the team are getting the same programme and influences as a Championship Tier 2 team. We will look to provide dual career athletes with the opportunities to study and play football at the highest level. We want to be able to increase their aspirations both on and off the pitch by providing chances to really excel in all areas. I think by doing so, we will also give the University profile by showing what the programme for the development of a player, both academically and as a footballer, looks like.’
‘There are so many pathways for UoB players to enter which is so exciting! From Tiers 1 -4 we are all well connected and provide so many opportunities for students to play in the women’s pyramid – it’s a brilliant step to developing the women’s game!’
‘Hmm…youthful energy?! [laughs] I’ve definitely got a hunger to achieve and develop younger players by giving them opportunities to play first team senior football.’
‘UBSport have given me so much trust, support and opportunity to develop myself as a coach and also, the complete autonomy as a coach to develop the University programme. This has allowed me to grow and progress as a coach in so many ways. I am a much better coach because of UBSport – and I am truly grateful!’
‘I am over the moon! Completely ecstatic and utterly privileged to be given this opportunity.’
To keep up to date with Gem, you can follow her on Twitter.