Saints and Starling Bank launch female coaching initiative


Southampton Football Club and Starling Bank have today announced a new grassroots coaching initiative which aims to encourage more women and girls into football coaching and help them achieve a recognised coaching qualification awarded by the Football Association.

The new initiative has been created to recruit a target of twenty female coaches from the age of 16 and above who have no formal coaching qualifications. Those who sign up will begin their training at the end of February 2023 and will complete the ‘FA Introduction to Coaching Award’ online as part of the course. This will give them their first official coaching qualification.

Southampton Football Club Academy staff will support and mentor the coaches over a period of four months with three webinars and three face-to-face training events. Each successful participant in the coaching programme will be given a toolkit to continue their coaching pathway, which will include a Starling Bank branded bag of balls, cones and bibs, six planning sessions, and membership to ‘Grow your Game’. The Grow your Game scheme is available to all current team coaches whose club is affiliated to Hampshire FA and offers ongoing support and education for coaches.

Marieanne Spacey-Cale, Head of Women’s Football at Southampton Football Club, said: “We want to see more women working towards gaining a recognised coaching qualification and attract top talent. Those selected on our grassroots coaching programme will benefit from ongoing training and support from the Southampton Football Club team which will further develop their coaching skills and confidence.”

In addition to the new coaching programme, Southampton Football Club staff will monitor the progress of the trainees and will nominate two of the participants who will be given the opportunity to enrol on the UEFA C course.

The new coaching programme has been created to develop grassroots coaches at local clubs in Hampshire and develop the next generation of female coaches in Southampton and the surrounding region.

Rachel Kerrone, brand and marketing director at Starling Bank said: “Equality in women’s football will come from building out the talent pipeline with players and coaches, from grassroots clubs to those that play professionally. At Starling, we want to play a part in smashing those glass ceilings, just as we are doing for women in technology and banking.”

Starling Bank is the Official Principal Partner for Southampton Football Club Women for the 2022-23 season. This partnership is a continuation of Starling’s celebration of women’s football, following the bank’s national sponsorship of the UEFA Women’s EURO 2022.

Southampton Football Club has a strong track record in encouraging women to play football; the South Coast football team has recently seen a 120% increase in season ticket sales compared to last season. As part of this drive to grow the women’s game, all Southampton FC Women’s games will be played at St Mary’s Stadium. The team also trains at Staplewood Campus, the same ground as the men’s side and are now full-time professionals.

To find out more about Southampton Football Club’s Grassroots coaching initiative, please visit: