We had a nice natter with the FAWSL leaders Liverpool's newest signing, General Manager Angela Roberts...
SK: Congratulations on your new role Angela, what will your main tasks be?
AR: Thanks. First of all, just to say I’m really excited to be joining the club at such an exciting time. My role, as I see it, is that the club are making great strides on the pitch and so I want to continue and match that progress and professionalism off the pitch too. I want Matt [Beard, Manager] and the players to be able to do what they do on the field and concentrate on that, while I take care of all of the stuff of the pitch.
You have the experience of a similar role with the FAW too, don’t you? AR: Yes, I started working with the youth teams and eventually worked with the senior side. I come to this role with the same ethos I had in that job, in that I want the staff and players to be able to focus on the football. I travelled to some really interesting places in that job and had some wonderful times working with the Welsh FA. I gained lots of knowledge and experience during my time there and now I have the fantastic opportunity of working with Liverpool Football Club and the great support and resources that they have in terms of marketing and PR expertise.
Is it a year round job? AR: Yes. At the moment we’re just focussing on the last two games of the season and then straight away we will start planning and looking to progress. Our aim is to always be contenders, always challenging for trophies and in Europe.
Do you get to boss Matt around then? AR: Oh, I wouldn’t say that! [Laughs] It’s very much a partnership. We both, in fact everyone at the club, want the team to do well.
Are you based at Melwood at the training ground? AR: No, I’m at the Main Office in the city centre. It means there is great support available to me that I can tap into, as I mentioned, in terms of marketing and PR and so on.
Do you monitor the budget? AR: Again, that’s more of a collective arrangement in that we would discuss what is needed and what we can do within the budget but there are also key people within the club that can be and are involved in decisions like this.
There have been several strong Welsh players in Liverpool’s team in the past, might you push for some more Welsh talent in the squad? AR: I’d never favour any particular player but if we did have any Welsh players I’d obviously have a soft spot for them! Our key agenda is to develop players and bring talent through. We want to develop home-grown talent be they English or Welsh, giving young players the best facilities, support and chance to play at the top level.
Are you a Liverpool supporter, by any chance? AR: I am, but I’m also a Porthmadog FC supporter. The reason for that is that I’m from North Wales and they gave me my first 9-5 job in football, working with the academy and in licensing. They were the first club to teach me about being part of the football family. Without that grounding and opportunity I wouldn’t have got to work with the Welsh FA or have the opportunity I have now, with Liverpool Ladies, so I’m really grateful and I have to be honest and admit right now that if Liverpool did come up against Porthmadog I’d be cheering on the Welsh side! Sorry, Liverpool!
It’s a pretty good way to start a job, coming into a full-on title challenge? AR: Yeah, I came in with three games to go and now we have just two games left, starting with the derby game tomorrow. It’s really exciting and I’m excited to see the atmosphere too. We’re just taking it one game at a time though and not taking anything for granted.
What was the first thing you did on your first day in the job? AR: It was just to get information, as much as I could. Then over the past week I’ve been doing a lot of PR, promoting the club and the game on Thursday. I’ve really been enjoying it and the time feels like it’s flying by, it’s such a great club to work for and the it really has a ‘one club’ feel to it, the women’s team is not just a side issue, it is just as important as the academy and reserves sides, for example. It’s a great partnership.
Does that add pressure? AR: Oh yes, it definitely adds pressure but in a good way. There are very high expectations, so that pressure can only be viewed as a bonus.
Will maintaining and increasing crowd sizes be part of your remit? AR: Very much so. And do you know, I think the girls deserve it. They put the hard work in and play exciting football and so they deserve good support.
NEXT MATCH: Liverpool Ladies vs Everton Ladies
FA WSL Round 11 (rescheduled match)
KO 7.30pm 12 September 2013
Read a MATCH preview HERE...
Neither are workable or likely at present but hypothetically, would you prefer a more strict salary cap in the FA WSL OR should centrally contracted England players (that receive salaries from The FA) be allocated more evenly around WSL1 clubs?