by Kieran Thievam
THE new Watford Ladies head coach, Katie Rowson, says the relationship forged with the men’s team was a big factor in her joining the club last month.
With Quique Sanchez Flores’ side flourishing this season, Rowson is hoping she will see similar success with her side, with the ladies side now coming under the umbrella of Watford FC.
Rowson joins after spending the last few years working in the British Virgin Islands.
She took on the role of technical director for the island’s FA, having worked with a number of it’s women’s teams, including the Under-20s and Under-15s.
But it was the offer of a club environment and a weekly schedule that tempted her back to England with the WSL 2 club.
She said: “Being part of a club was a big reason, but – with the women being taken over by the men’s side – I saw this as a massive step in the right direction.
“In terms of resources, it’s huge.”
She will need those resources as she looks to pick up the pieces of a disastrous campaign last year, when the team finished bottom and lost a number of key players and almost all of its staff.
However, Rowson heads into the challenge with her eyes wide open.
She is making no bold predictions on how the team will perform this year, especially as she joins a few weeks before the campaign gets underway.
But what she is aiming to do is make the team competitive and build a squad that incorporates the young players at her disposal, with a few experienced heads added.
“It’s about building a programme, which has been outlined to the girls and the players coming in on trial. We’ve set out a very clear philosophy in terms of recruiting the right personnel and, as cheesy as it sounds, we want the right people to come on a journey with us,” she said.
“It’s not going to be easy because we are playing a bit of catch up. But its not just about this year. It’s about being an established part of the FAWSL in the future.”
So, now the club has formed a closer relationship with the men’s side, will the new head coach of the ladies be knocking on the door of Señor Sanchez Flores?
“Absolutely,” she said.
“I need to see if he’ll let me come to the training ground and if I can take anything from that structure. I’d love to hear what he’s got to say.”
*This article was originally published in The FLP’s Women’s Football Weekly supplement on 28 February 2016.