Gloucester City Women’s Manager Chris Hill says the opportunity to join the club and be part of the newly formed women’s team was an opportunity “too good to turn down,” after discussing the idea with Chairman Alex Petheram.
Hill was appointed as the Manager of the new side at the end of March and speaking to Severn Sport he admits that after hearing about the plans from Petheram he couldn’t turn it down.
“Alex pitched the idea to me really. We did our coaching badges together and basically he asked what I was doing coaching wise and it went from there.
He sold me this idea he had for launching the Women’s team and being honest I couldn’t turn it down – it was exactly what I was looking for to be honest,” Hill said.
Hill joins the club after a few years gaining experience at Somerset County League level – most recently with Illminster Town, but made the decision to leave for Meadow Park.
“I’m a failed footballer,” laughed Hill. “I took up coaching a few years ago, mainly doing kids coaching but was asked to take over a Sunday League side who were being heavily beaten to see what I could do.
Within a couple of years we were winning cups and even made the Sunday League County Cup final. Then after spending some time learning from coaches who knew than me and gaining experience I went to Illminster.
Illminster was a project for me but due to covid the season didn’t really allow me to get started on what I wanted to do and then when this opportunity with Gloucester came up, as I said, it was too good to turn down,” Hill added.
Hill comes into the role coaching in the Women’s game for the first time, but he believes he is well equipped to coach under pressure enough to be successful at Meadow Park.
“I think I am ready for the challenge,” Hill said. “I’m used to coaching under pressure, certainly in the Men’s County Leagues you work under pressure straight away and you get judged pretty easily. If you don’t have your wits about you and something about you then they discard you.
I am in the process of appointing my backroom team and I am lucky to have links to University of Gloucestershire, FA Tutors and people within the ladies game who have played or coached who have given me advice or pointers as to how things are different.
I think I am perfectly equipped to hit the ground running,” Hill added.
Gloucester City Women’s will be holding an open training session at Meadow Park on 5th May so we asked Hill about his coaching style and more importantly what kind of player he is looking to come along to the session.
“Ideally I’m looking for someone who wants to be coached. You can have all the talent in the world but if you aren’t coachable or are disruptive then it makes the coaches job ever harder and disrupts the team.
Somebody who knows the level and what the level is for our ambitions, as well as someone who knows their worth and knows what it means to be in a good squad.
I like to play attacking football. I’ve been very fortunate to have seen an array of flair players following Tottenham growing up and that’s where I fell in love with football really. I like players to have the belief in themselves and trust in each other as well as the confidence to not make a mistake.
You see it where some teams berate their players when they make a mistake and I don’t coach like that, don’t get me wrong I want to minimize mistakes – all coaches do, but if you aren’t adventurous and don’t take those risks then you don’t create the opportunities.
I do like to be balanced but with an attacking edge with my players feeling confident and having the belief in themselves and those around them,” said Hill.
Gloucester City co-Chairman Alex Petheram has already confirmed that the Women’s team will be playing home games at Meadow Park along with the Men’s and U18s/21s/23s sides next season and Hill says that to have access to the high quality facilities at Meadow Park fills him with excitement.
“It is fantastic what Gloucester City have built there, I know Alex along with Eamon have been the driving force to get the facilities to the level they are. You can’t ask for more. It fills me with excitement for sure.
The pitch is superb. I am used to having games called off for being waterlogged or fighting for pitch space to train on, so I’m excited to get the correct footwear and get out on the 3g and get started,” added Hill.
So with prospective players and staff looking to be added to the Gloucester City Women’s team in the next month or so we asked Hill about the importance of the Women’s team matching the ambitions of the overall club.
“It is extremely important to buy into the ambition of the whole club,” said Hill.
“The club has a very clear direction for all teams and where they want to be in the next couple of years and the Women’s team are apart of that package.
Some of the coaches or playing staff I have been speaking to understand the ambitions of the club on the pitch, understand the role they could have within that and how we can achieve that together.
I am an ambitious coach and I think I have the right like-minded individuals around me and I think we are all on the same page to hit the ground running,” Hill added.
If any prospective players, coaches or volunteers are looking for more information regarding the Gloucester City Women’s team ahead of the open training session in May please check out the email address below.