Jerrell Pascal, Assistant Coach at QPR FC Women, talks to us about his journey into women’s football, the growth of the game, and the expectations for the season.
Opening up opportunities
“I got into football when I was younger, playing out on the streets and on the school playground as most of us did. The journey carried on evolving from there, playing at semi-pro level. I then took the opportunity to move into women’s football and started to earn my coaching badges. I received my break into coaching when a connection helped me find a club where his son played. As my career progressed, I met a player’s dad, who played for QPR girls under Steve Quashie, who at the time managed the youth teams but has now progressed to be the women’s first team manager. Steve gave me the opportunity to coach the under, 12s, 13s, and 14s. We did well and made it to a couple of finals.
I then carried on growing my career, moving back into boys’ football with college teams and grassroots. Laura Kaminski, currently the Crystal Palace women’s first team manager, took over the college team I was coaching at, and from there I worked with her for seven years, with my career taking me to coach at Tottenham. I took a year out of the game, following the birth of my son, before returning to QPR where I’m in my current role as assistant first-team coach.”
“It’s been fantastic, we’re going through a boom period of the sport right now, following the Euro success and backing that up by making the Final of the World Cup. The WSL has played its part as well, I don’t think women’s football will ever look back. Sky Sports has also done a fantastic job, by taking the deal up to show games live. It can only go from strength to strength.”
Investing in the future
“I think it is very important for businesses to get involved to help support the growth and development of the Women’s game, as without the support along this journey the game can’t develop commercially. So, businesses backing our teams financially and attending our events and games show that level of respect for the game. It’s one of the reasons the women’s game has taken a bit longer to grow, due to the lack of participation from sponsors and companies. We’re grateful for all the partnerships that have joined us on our journey so far, It is amazing, and we want to take them on our journey for years to come through our continued partnerships.”
Former R’s Euro Success
“It’s amazing to see Chloe Kelly, someone who has worn the QPR badge and comes from the local area play on this stage of football, everyone at the club is so proud of her. After the Euros, she came back to the club and was presented with a signed shirt from the women’s team. All the girls are ecstatic, not just from Chloe Kelly but all the England players and the other players in the tournament. They are all great ambassadors to the game, especially to this area of London. There are no words to describe, what the England team has done. Every player in our squad is inspired to play at the level of football she is one day.”
The season ahead
“Last season we finished seventh. On a personal level, I was a little bit gutted as it was my first season back at the club. Obviously, The Club and I are very ambitious, we have a good team, a good enough team to challenge, and a good enough team to even get top three. That’s the aim of the club. For me personally, I think we need to keep on challenging in every game we play, but we can only go from where we were last season which was seventh. Anything above there is good, for me, it’s just about challenging. There is no point being in a league if you’re not challenging every week because only one club goes up every season, and we’ll be doing everything we can to improve year-on-year to try and achieve that goal.”