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Football Skills Beyond The Pitch

By Rachel Danso

All my colleagues know that I love football, admittedly mainly the Premier League men's game as this has been widely accessible to me. Having played football as a teenager (many years ago), it was a delight to witness the Lionesses win the Euro's last year and reach the final of the recently concluded World Cup. Although the Lionesses did not bring home the main trophy, they can hold their heads up high, and as a spectator it was a joy to witness the quality of football being played.

I have always encouraged young people to consider the benefits of sport, not just playing the professional game but the career opportunities/job roles around sports including , refereeing, media, business, sports science/medicine, data analytics, retail and hospitality to name a few.  Each career requires specific skills, qualities and qualification but are all linked to sport.  


Aside of choosing a career in sport, there are so many benefits of sport, the obvious being the positive mental and physical impact, but also the soft skills that can been gained from participation in sport. Some of the skills sport can develop include leadership, communication, resilience, problem solving, empathy, negotiation and organisational skills.  All of these skills can be utilised, not just within sport but in everyday life and within your chosen career.  I encourage young people to use these skills gained on their CVs, applications and personal statements to demonstrate their ability.

Having recently returned to playing women's social football, I can certainly say it creates a sense of community - I have been able to meet new people, learn new skills and have fun.  For any girl wanting to play football I would encourage you to search for local teams as there are several new opportunities popping up.  If you do not want to play football but would like to try your hand at being a referee, there is a course being offered by the FA for girls living in Middlesex.


The FA Referee Course is designed to equip new referees with the key skills and knowledge they will need to be able to referee grassroots football matches safely and effectively. It is for girls aged 14 and over who want to referee mini soccer, 9 v 9 and/or 11 v 11 football.

The female-only referee course is discounted from £135 to £35. To find more information, please click here to go to the website. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to email referee@middlesexfa.com. Please note, the participants have to live in Middlesex.

For more information about careers linked to football and sport in general you can use the following websites:





Information on college football programmes combining education and playing can be found in the links below.

Sports Academies (uxbridgecollege.ac.uk)

QPR - Education & Football Development Centre | Harrow College

Richmond upon Thames College | Top Academic and Vocational London College | RUTC & AFC Wimbledon Elite Football Academy Men’s & Women’s Football Development Programme (Level 3)

Sports Academies - West London College (wlc.ac.uk)

UCFB Academy, Wembley | UCFB


Whether you see your future career in sport or not, developing skills within sport now can help you gain the right skills for any future plans.

Rachel Danso

Careers Adviser 

Rachel is a Careers Adviser who works at the Harrow Youth Stop, and at a Harrow school. Find out more about her and other members of the team here.

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