Women’s World Cup: Shelley Kerr welcomes Nicola Sturgeon advice

Women’s World Cup: Shelley Kerr welcomes Nicola Sturgeon advice


Scotland lose 2-1 to Japan despite Clelland’s late strike
Women’s World Cup: Scotland v Argentina
Venue: Parc des Princes, Paris Date: Wednesday, 20 June Kick-off: 20:00 BST
Coverage: Watch on BBC One Scotland & BBC Alba, listen on BBC Radio Scotland, live text commentary on the BBC Sport website & app.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has been giving Shelley Kerr tips on how to deal with life in the spotlight, the Scotland head coach has revealed.

Kerr has led her side to a first World Cup finals, where they have lost to England and Japan.

Sturgeon is patron of the women’s national team, something Kerr says she takes “very seriously”.

“She was really forthcoming and I wanted to tap into her leadership skills,” she told BBC Scotland.

“It was fantastic to sit down and tap into her knowledge and experience as being the country’s ultimate leader.”

Scotland face Argentina in Paris in their final Group D match on Wednesday knowing a win is essential if they are to have a chance of qualifying as one of the best third-placed teams.

Kerr met Sturgeon on several occasions in the build-up to the finals in France and was keen to learn about her “experiences of being a female role model” and “how she manages to switch off”.

But the 49-year-old says the learning process that developed her own management style can be traced back to her first job as a production operator with Mitsubishi Electric.

“They had real strict regimented rules in place,” Kerr recalled. “You had to really be disciplined, you had to be efficient and effective and the Japanese were renowned for that.

“The culture of the people helped me in terms of my management style when I eventually became a manager there. I was responsible in the end of my time for three production lines, so about 90 employees.”

‘It was on TV across the globe’

Kerr had began her coaching career with local boys club Polbeth United towards the end of her teenage years and trained with Stoneyburn Juniors while playing for Hibernian Ladies.

She was invited by Stoneyburn’s manager, Andy Johnson, to be his assistant, and stints as caretaker with Kilmarnock and Hibs women’s teams followed before her move to Arsenal, where she won a domestic double in her first year, reached the semi-final of the Champions League, then retained the FA Cup.

Having “sacrificed a lot” to move to London she opted to return home to do a sports management degree at Stirling University and noticed they were looking for a coach for their Lowland League men’s side.

“I think the university at the time probably didn’t realise how big a news story it was going to be because I was the first female in the UK to take up a role at that level in men’s football,” Kerr says.

“It was chaotic to say the least. Within 24 hours, it was on TV, it was across the globe basically. We had enquiries at the university from Israel, from Spain. It was just unbelievable.

“And, at the back of my mind, all I could think about was – how are we going to get a result at the weekend because all eyes are watching?”

Her new side, sitting bottom of the league at the time, scraped a draw with second-top Dalbeattie Star “and over the three seasons, the team did extremely well”.

Kerr graduated with a masters degree in sports management in 2016 and a year later was chosen to succeed Anna Signeul as Scotland head coach.

“I’ve been really fortunate to have many managerial positions, but to get an opportunity to manage the national team is just the pinnacle – it’s almost at times you have to pinch yourself,” she added.

Soccer News

via BBC Sport – Football https://bbc.in/OHg7x6

June 16, 2019 at 01:21AM


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