Amy Merricks Coaching Masterclass HERO 2023

Amy Merricks Coaching Masterclass

Session delivered by Lionesses Under-19s Head Coach

Last week 40 members of our SO GOOD Female Coaching Network were in attendance at East Grinstead Sports Club for one of our Coaching Masterclass sessions, this time with England Women’s National Head Coach (Under-19s), Amy Merricks.

Merricks is a coach well known to many in Sussex, from her time with Brighton & Hove Albion Women who she joined in July 2015 and rose up through the coaching ranks to lead the Women’s Super League club as Interim Manager on three separate occasions, before leaving at the start of this season to join up with the Lionesses.

Our two-hour Continuous Professional Development (CPD) Masterclass started with a presentation delivered by Amy detailing the practical session she was soon to demonstrate.

Amy's masterclass was focused on “finishing in the final third”, and to support the coaches that were going to observe the session, Amy used her presentation to demonstrate each element of the session in its simplest form. 

This included showing how an unopposed practice can develop into a matched-up or overloaded practice, before concluding with a game realistic scenario which had finishing at the centre.

Out on the artificial surface the Crawley AFC Women First Team, who joined us for the evening, were put through their paces by the UEFA Pro Licence Coach.

Coaches in attendance from our SO GOOD Coaching Network were able to observe Amy in action and see how she taps into a player’s talent, whilst keeping the session tempo high and getting the most out of the players she’s working with.

The session started with five players with the challenge of completing four unopposed passes and then finishing in a small goal, while this was happening, there were three other parallel practices taking place and although each of the groups were taking part in their own unopposed practice, Amy added in an element of competition between the groups by setting them a challenge to see who could score first. 

This encouraged players to be engaged in the session while giving them the opportunity to succeed.

The next part of the session demonstrated an unopposed but with interference practice, two small-sided games with bounce players around the outside aimed to create one to two opportunities, moving forward and completing the move by finishing.

The next two parts of the practice spectrum were amalgamated, this was creating an overload within a bigger game. Players were split into two teams, a goal at either end of the pitch but the full-backs were able to play for both teams, this created an overload but also by doing this Amy wanted to create more finishing chance for each side.

The final part of the evening was a question-and-answer session hosted by FA Coach Mentor Carly Farrell. Having first met whilst both were with Brighton, the rapport between the two ensured that the Q&A was honest and humorous.

Covering everything from the beginning of her football journey, her biggest lesson from working alongside Hope Powell, and going on to working in the Lionesses set up, Amy gave a full and highly insightful account.

Speaking after the event, Amy said: “The SO GOOD female coaches group provides an invaluable opportunity for coaches to develop and support each other throughout their career.

“Bringing like-minded individuals together who are all so passionate about coaching can have long lasting effects in empowering individuals and sharing best practice.

“I thoroughly enjoyed attending the Masterclass and having the opportunity to understand the challenges coaches are facing, as well as sharing my own journey to date. We need more female coaches at every level of the game, and the SO GOOD group are doing a great job of nurturing females in the game!”

One of the members of our SO GOOD group, Megan, said: “I really enjoyed The Merricks Masterclass, and I thought it was a brilliant insight to what it’s like as a UEFA Pro coach.

“There were lots of key points to take away from the masterclass but there were definitely a few that stuck with me, such as trusting and believing in yourself, focusing on the moment and not the mistake and stripping back your session to what you want to achieve, and you’ll be successful.

“The evening was so inspirational and I’m so lucky to be able to be part of the SO GOOD female coaches’ group, which has enabled me to grow in confidence massively, have a network of amazing females who support one another and have the Sussex County FA there to help when you need too!”

Finally, our Development Officer, Abi Knight, said: “A huge thanks goes to everyone that helped set this workshop up, particularly Sharon Muxworthy-McIvor, Carly Farrell, East Grinstead Sports Club, Crawley AFC Women First Team players and managers, Dave Connor and Dave Satchell, and Crawley AFC Women Chair, Chris Minn.

“To see what a difference events like these make to the confidence of each individual in attendance is remarkable, and the growth and development of this group is a privilege to witness, and I want to continue this while encouraging more females to take that step into coaching.

“I’d also like to say a huge thank you to Amy for giving up her valuable time to help teach and inspire this new wave of female coaches in Sussex!

For more information on coaching in Sussex please contact:

T: 01903 766855

Related News

View All