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Daily Record
Daily Record
Ben Ramage

St Mirren female staff on what working for the club means to them on International Women's Day

There are some people out there that still think football is simply a man’s sport.

But you only need to take one look at just how many women are involved in the day-to-day running of St Mirren FC, St Mirren Women FC and St Mirren’s Charitable Foundation to see that the game in general couldn’t survive without them.

Today marks International Women’s Day, which calls attention to vitally important issues such as gender equality, domestic abuse and violence against women.

While great strides have been taken in general in football over the last 10 years, deep-rooted issues still remain and require constant tackling.

Luckily, the wider St Mirren family have a vast number of women working and volunteering within the Paisley club to help continually smash down some of those barriers.

In this special feature, the Paisley Daily Express hears from some of the club’s most influential women who are helping to shape the Buddies and ensure football is truly accessible for all.

Lynsey McLean – St Mirren general manager

“I have been involved with St Mirren since being seconded to the general manager role from Kibble, who in partnership with the club fund my post.

“Although extremely challenging at times I have relished the challenge of the day-to-day operations that come with running the club.

“The work that goes on behinds the scenes at the football club is extensive, demanding and pressured.

“But I am always committed, like the many staff behind the scenes, to delivering the best service we possibly can for the players, supporters, volunteers and the board.

“You can feel how much the club means to people. Being one of the few female general managers in the country brings its own challenges in what is still a very male-dominated world.

“But I can also see more and more women getting involved in football and that will make a huge difference to the sport overall.

“International Women’s Day is a great opportunity to showcase the women in football, in all their various roles.

“I am always impressed by their drive and determination to support the game, not only at local levels but across the country. I would love to see more women in the game at all levels and breaking those barriers that still exist for many.”

Janette Swanson – St Mirren Women chairperson

“I became a season ticket holder at St Mirren about 10 years ago as I wanted to support my local club. I thought it was important.

“Over the years I became more involved, eventually becoming a director on the SMiSA board.

“During my time there I developed a connection with the women’s team and I was impressed by the vision and ambitions they have, not just for the women and girls academy, but how they can contribute to the growth of the whole club and our community.

“Recently, I moved over to the Women and Girls Academy as their chairperson and a board member. I am excited for the future, the possibilities are endless and that’s a great experience in football, to be part of the growth and development.

“The commitment of everyone involved in the club is fantastic and I am looking to promote all aspects of the game, from growing attendances, growing participation and increasing the profile of the sport for women.”

Angela Tarbert – St Mirren Women and Girls Academy support coordinator

“I have been a season ticket holder at St Mirren for many years as they are my local club.

“I have been involved in various fundraising events for the foundation and, as time went on, I became more aware of community activity which led me to the women’s team.

“Being a fledging team they have progressed from strength to strength, especially this season – they’re flying high!

“I got involved further with the club after seeing an advertisement to help out the women’s team in a volunteer role caring for Amanda the Panda, the women’s mascot.

“She certainly has a fan club of her own when she appears at home games. My role at the club is in a support capacity, assisting the women’s team and coaches in training and match preparation along with giving my time to support community programmes run at the club.

“Being involved with the women’s game has opened my eyes to the discrimination that still surrounds football.

“The manager, Kate Cooper, champions equality and inclusivity within the game.

“I’ve learned you don’t have to be a footballer to be able to contribute to the game. The women’s game has increased in popularity and I’m sure St Mirren Women have a dedicated team of players, coaches and support staff that will take them from League One through the divisions in the coming years.”

Karin Pointon – St Mirren supporter liaison officer (SLO)

“I’ve been in my current role for two years but I’ve had various roles at the club. I provided medical cover to the first team during Gus MacPherson’s time as manager and I also co-founded the St Mirren website back in 1999. I’ve been a supporter of the club for 37 years.

“I love the interaction and banter between the fans and the club. We are one big family who are trying to make the matchday experience a positive one for all ages and in turn showcase St Mirren and Paisley in a positive light.

“The role gives me the opportunity to understand the challenges faced by all Scottish clubs by linking in with other supporter liaison officers throughout the country.

“In the next five years I would like to see the SPFL and SFA be more involved with SLOs in order to ensure a safe and enjoyable environment at football matches and to promote all levels of football associated with St Mirren. My personal goal is to work with women in football and promote all areas of the women’s game.

“It will be exciting to see the development of that area and see what positive outcomes women can demonstrate within football.”

Full list

Women and Girl's Academy: Janette Swanson (chairperson), Paula Wingate (commercial), Kirsti Petherick (Under-16 coach & CWPO), Tracy Patrick Cooper (media officer), Fiona Kidd -(Under-14 coach), Trish McAneny (Women’s team coach), Angela Tarbet (Women’s team support coordinator), Ruth Greenhalgh (chaplain), Kate Cooper (head coach), Charlotte Steele (sports scientist).

St Mirren FC: Lynsey McLean (general manager), Clare Goodwin (senior communication), Vicki Gilzean (club administrator), Linda Roseman (finance), Deborah Souter (ticket manager), Karin Pointon (SLO).

Ralston-based staff: Margaret Michie (kitchen supervisor), Marie Murray (kitchen support), Morag Moffat (domestic assistant).

St Mirren FC Charity Foundation: Gayle Brannigan (CEO), Amy Philips (marketing executive), Kiara Wilson (marketing executive), Arrianna Loughran (community coach), Emma Smith (community coach).


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