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Meet The First Female Coach Of A European Top-flight Men's Team And She Considers It As Nothing New

Helen Nkwocha was motivated by her desire to become a professional football coach, so she sold her house and moved to a houseboat to fund her dream.

She could never have imagined herself as the first female coach of a top-flight men's team in Europe in her wildest dreams.

Tvoroyrar Boltfelag is one of the Faroe Islands' oldest clubs.

However, as they neared the end of a disappointing season in which they had only three points, they turned to Nkwocha, who had been working as a youth coach at the club, to lead them through the remaining six games.

"I didn't think twice," the former police officer from London tells BBC Sport.

"Because they are reacting to my gender, people's reactions are not the same as mine." However, I am used to being a woman. It's not something I'm unfamiliar with.

"And the fact that I'm collaborating with male stars? I've dealt with a greater number of male players than females. Yes, working at this level is a different experience. Working with male players, on the other hand, is nothing new to me."

When BBC Sport spoke to Nkwocha in 2015, she was on the verge of embarking on a voyage that would take her to a variety of locations, including China and the United States, in search of job.

Opportunities are hard to come by for someone whose beginnings are not at the top of the game.

"It's been difficult because coaching is such a competitive field," says the 45-year-old.

"You have to be persistent, and the houseboat was the ideal method for me to save money for the courses I needed to do and then to be accessible to coach because money is scarce at this level."

"It's required a lot of financial sacrifice, and then you move around in terms of location because you're searching for a chance to grow, develop, and learn."

Nkwocha was working in Chicago when she heard about the Faroe Islands position via a friend.

With Covid poised to make its presence known, she believed the role's security and range were too good to pass up.

She'd never visited the Faroe Islands before.

"It's like being in a fairytale," she says. "It's stunning, perhaps one of the most stunning sites I've ever seen."

"There aren't many people here - we have a population of 2,000 - and a lot of the games need taking the ferry and then a car to get to the venues." It's also highly windy, and the ball is frequently in the air, making it a difficult area to play football."

Nkwocha will remain working on it until the end of the year, putting off any ideas about what the future may contain.

Do you think she will be able to cope with the male players????

Let me have your comments below....

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BBC Sport European Helen Nkwocha London Tvoroyrar Boltfelag


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