Conservation with TRFC womens manager Marc Joyce.
Marc Joyce joined the club’s coaching system in April when he was appointed manager of the women’s team, much to the excitement of everyone who knew of his capabilities. Ahead of the new season, we sat down to talk to him about his coaching experiences and the upcoming campaign.
Hello Marc, to start our conversation off, could you tell me a little bit about yourself and your coaching journey. Did you always want to be a football coach and how much work went into becoming a licenced coach in three countries: FA, FAW and US?
“Good morning Ethan. I’ve been coaching for around 10 years now. The journey started in the UK at grassroots level working on my youth modules. Following that I was given the opportunity to work in the US which was a fantastic experience and one that provided me with the chance to work with some real high end talent. I spent 7 or so years there and learnt a lot along the way. Since returning to the UK in 2020 I’ve again had the opportunity to work with some top players at both Airbus in North Wales and more recently Tranmere”.
It was announced in early April that you would become the new Tranmere women’s manager. When did the interest in you from the club begin, what were your initial thoughts and what was it like to have your hard work pay off when you finally landed the role?
“It’s an exciting opportunity, the Tranmere one. It matched with some of my recent experiences. We’ll of course continue to focus on the development of players but being able to coach in a performance environment was something I was keen to get involved in”.
We’ve touched on your coaching journey slightly in that initial question. However, how long have you had a coaching role in the women’s game in particular and especially with the news of Sky Sports showcasing the WSL games throughout the course of the season, do you think it’s something that will continue to rise in terms of interest?
“My experiences of the women’s game prior to Tranmere were mostly in the US and throughout my time there. The US has a strong focus on that side of the game and we’ve seen them benefit from that with their domination at national level over the years. Football is football and whether it’s on the men’s side or the women’s the games are still the same. It’s great to see the women’s game here gaining more exposure at the top level and hopefully that’s something that filters through the leagues as opposed to it just being a break away top flight.
I think I’ve the ability to be flexible and adapt to the groups I work with. One style might suit one group and not the other so I certainly don’t hang my hat on any specific ‘brand’ of football.
We want this team to be brave, creative and go and express themselves going forward.
Football is about relationships, so being able to communicate and build a group and environment that comes together to compete week in week out is my focus”.
We’re having our conversation in Mid August, when the U18s and the senior seasons have started. However, you will have to wait until September 4th for the women’s campaign to start. What approach do you take into friendlies that you probably wouldn’t when it comes to a league game and how would you say your side have played in the friendlies so far?
“The friendlies have given us a different test every week. Different challenges / focus points for us to take into training and build on. They’re an extension of the training, we’re looking for performance and workrate at the moment as opposed to worrying about the overall outcome.
Watching the football league kick off this weekend and knowing we’ve still nearly a month before the league starts feels a little out of sync but we’re enjoying the build up, ensuring we’re getting healthy and fit for what’s around the corner and constantly assessing the players here and the players that have come in.
The league is something we’re certainly looking forward to”.
Leaving a little bit of time left to place our thoughts on the upcoming campaign, what are your ambitions from a managerial perspective for the next ten months?
“It’ll be a competitive league, there’s no question about that. We want to do our utmost week in week out to win games of football. I’m sure there’ll be some lows and highs along the way and that’s football but we’ll be doing all we can to come out on top against everyone we come up against”.
Marc Joyce was appointed manager of the Tranmere women’s team in April 2021. The new season started on September 4th and they’ve made a blistering start to it!
Photo taken by @BBsphotography