|Role:||Former Arsenal Ladies Manager, now Head Coach and Men’s High Performance Football Manager|
Shelley managed English FA Women’s Super League Club Arsenal Ladies from February 2013 until June 2014. She won the FA Cup with Arsenal twice, including on 1st June 2014. As a player Kerr was a powerful centre back, who captained the Scotland women’s national football team as well as clubs including Spartans and Hibernian. She won 59 caps for Scotland between 1989 and 2008, scoring three goals.
During her playing career Kerr won every domestic honour in Scotland and played in the UEFA Women’s Cup. She also represented Doncaster Rovers Belles in England. As a coach, Kerr gained experience at Kilmarnock, Hibernian and Spartans while progressing through the Scottish Football Association’s (SFA) Long-term Player Development pathway, eventually taking charge of the Scotland women’s under–19 national team in 2009. She gained the UEFA Pro Licence in January 2013, shortly before leaving the SFA for Arsenal Ladies.
In August 2014, Shelley became the first female manager in British men’s senior football when she was appointed manager of Stirling University, competing in the Lowland League.
Going to watch my first club game (Hearts v Motherwell 1976/77)
Yes, Kenny Dalglish and then Paolo Maldini
I always had a passion for coaching even when I was playing, I felt I had really good leadership qualities as well as having good game knowledge, so I wanted to use those qualities to help develop others. For me it was important to challenge and develop myself through the coach education pathway and to gain experience as player coach initially. After taking on a few roles as player coach I then retired from football as a player and then had various assistant roles before moving onto Head Coach Role. Again in my opinion it’s good to experience different roles before taking on the responsibility as Head Coach as gaining knowledge form others is really beneficial in your development.
I had several coaches who were really influential in my own development and they were also instrumental in mentoring me through my coaching career. When I was a young player I looked up to Margaret Wilson and Fiona Winchester who were my Club Coaches, they were extremely supportive but also both very good coaches.
Jim Chapman (Annan Athletic) was the first coach to encourage me to go on coaching courses.
Vera Pauw (South Africa Women’s National Team Coach) was the former Scottish National Team Manager and she got me involved with the Girls National Youth teams.
Jim Fleeting (Scottish FA) and Donald Park (Scottish FA) have been extremely supportive in my development mentoring me through the Scottish FA coach education pathway.
I’ve been fortunate to work with some extremely talented players and whilst it’s great to win tournaments and cup competitions with those players, the most pleasing and rewarding thing for me is just seeing players improve and progress. It’s great when you work with players and you feel that you have been influential in terms of their development, whether that’s a young player or an experienced player. The real beauty of coaching is making a difference even if that difference is small.
Not necessarily, it has to be where your own aspirations lie, not all female coaches want to work in the men’s game.
Perhaps a little, but in general it’s much the same.
It’s extremely difficult but it can be done.
I think the important thing is to try and identify coaches early and then have a mentoring programme to assist. Identification of experience players that have key qualities and then educate, mentor and provide opportunities for them. Succession planning is crucial for female coaches.
I think we have to be realistic, it’s not about gender, it’s about having the correct experience, education, personality and skillset and a huge factor is competition, whether you’re a male or female you are competing with a lot of well educated, experienced fantastic coaches.
Work hard every day and open your mind to learning.