“We speak about the intensity of the game and the sacrifices that you have to make, and looking back now I can’t really find the words to sum up that year.
“I don’t think I slept those first few nights during that first interim period, I think I was just awake planning and making sure I was as prepared as possible.
“I was constantly thinking about the decisions I was making and the impact that they’ll have on players and staff, it takes a lot out of you.
“I was extremely grateful to have had that experience, I enjoyed the challenge and looking back I could have done things differently, but that’s how you learn and grow.”
Reflecting on such a tumultuous season, it’s clear how grateful Amy was and continues to be, for the professional and personal support she received during that time.
“One of the first things I did after taking charge was contact coaches and tutors, I’d met doing various courses over the years, essentially the Pro Licence, because a lot of them had taken charge on an interim basis at some point in their time.
“I’m very comfortable saying I don’t know everything, but from speaking to them I knew how important it was for me to stay true to myself and not try and become somebody else.
“And of course, my parents were incredibly supportive, from coming to the play-off final back in the day under George, to just being such a support behind the scenes.
“My brothers were the ones who really blew me away though, because they came to majority of the games and I just couldn’t believe how invested and supportive they were, which after years of getting stick from them was certainly a surprise!”
Despite helping ensure the club's position in the WSL for another season, for Merricks it was time to look ahead to pastures new, and a fresh challenge.
“It had been an incredible eight years with Brighton, but I knew the time was right for a new experience, and then along came the role with the Lionesses Under-19s side, which straight away was an opportunity I knew I couldn’t say no to.”
Starting the role back in May, Amy’s role as Head Coach will see her work with the next generation of Lionesses as they look to qualify for the 2023-24 UEFA Women’s Under-19s Championship.
“We’ve got such a talented group of players, I’m so excited to get out on the grass with them and start preparing for Round One with our first camp.
“I feel like it’s really going to add another string to my bow, so I just can’t wait to get going!”
Finally, Merricks gave her advice for the next generation of coaches coming through.
“Staying true to yourself and being the most authentic version of yourself is so important,” she said, “I would also say to make sure you’re putting people first, and keeping them at the forefront of your decisions, be that with players or colleagues.
“And finally, remember to take a step back when you can and see the bigger picture. Take a moment to zoom out and appreciate where you’re at and how far you’ve come!”
For more information on coaching in Sussex please contact:
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