We're running a series of spotlight articles around the people involved in growing and shaping the female game across London.
In the lead up to the London FA Girls County Cup Finals – we talk to Mike Hanaway, Ladies and U12 Girls team coach, and Club Chairman at Foots Cray Lions JFC, and League Secretary at Kent Girls & Ladies League (KGLFL).
Foots Cray Lions take on Broomwood in the inaugural U18 Girls Cup Final at Barking FC on Sunday 8th May.
I started coaching with my sons team in 2001 and then with my daughters team in 2010, I still coach that team now as a Ladies team alongside coaching an U12 Girls team. I have also coached and organised the London Youth games teams for Bexley Council.
I helped set up girls football at my grassroots club, where I am currently Chairman, and we now have nine girls teams and an adult ladies team. I have also coordinated our junior coaches and referees scheme and have mentored over 30 young people as they qualify as coaches and referees. We’ve had more than 50% female participation in the scheme.
I also joined the Kent Girls & Ladies League in 2011 as League Secretary and have helped grow that league to be the largest in the country, more than doubling the number of teams and introducing new formats and age groups.
What are you working on right now?
We’re developing new U12 and U10 girls teams and continuing to support our SEN mixed football team, which competes in the London Inclusion Football league. I coach three teams and will continue as Club Chairman and League Secretary.
What’s next for you?
More coaching and mentoring plus a drive to include younger ages and female Vets section in the league set up.
How does the Women's Euros impact your role or the women's game?
It allows us to keep the momentum going and keep the female game in the spotlight. Importantly, it adds enormously to the increased visibility of the game. If young players can see it, then they can believe they can be it and will seek out football opportunities .
How has football enhanced your life and the life of those around you?
The development of a passion for coaching and of providing a positive environment for young people has been a huge joy for me and has a positive impact on myself and family.
I have been privileged in all my roles in football to be part of brilliant teams of people who dedicate an amazing amount of time and effort to growing the game.
Amanda Lewis, London FA’s Football Development Manager for Women & Girls, shares “London FA would like to thank Mike for all the years of hard work and dedication to growing quality girls football across London and Kent.”
A fantastic opportunity is coming to promote your girls football sessions throughout July alongside the Women’s Euros – keep any eye on the FA and London FA websites and socials during May for how to get involved!