Pioneering Amanda Breaks Gender Divide

28 Oct 2014 in News

Pioneering Amanda Breaks Gender Divide Pioneering Amanda Breaks Gender Divide

AMANDA Hoyle is the only female manager of a male Oldham football team.

Forty-five-year-old Hoyle is into her first season as manager of AFC Oldham’s fifth team in Division ‘E’ of the Lancashire and Cheshire League.

She’s no stranger to football management - and the discrimination that comes with it.

A teaching assistant at St Anne’s RC Primary School for pupils with special educational needs, Hoyle said: “Just because I haven’t played the game doesn’t mean I don’t know what I’m talking about.

“I have managed this team since the formation of the club nine years ago when we played in junior leagues and the time came to move into open-age football.

“Only the other week an opposition manager approached our secretary at a match and asked her if he could speak to our manager.“When Carol (Widdowson) pointed out to him I was the manager he seemed very surprised and shocked. I just brush it off.”

Hoyle, who holds a Level One coaching badge, is pleased that several of the players from the junior team have graduated successfully to open-age football.

Curtis Norris, Callum Grady, Hoyle’s 17-year-old son Jake and Matthew Widdowson have all progressed from the team’s junior league days.

Being a female manager in an all male environment such as a changing room obviously calls for a degree or two of discretion and Hoyle added: “There are no problems on that front and the respect we have for each other is in every way a two-way thing. I am so proud of them all.”

And so Hoyle should be, with her charges having made a positive start to the season with four wins and two draws from their opening six games.

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