Empire appoints female assistant coach

National women’s footballer, Karen Warner, has been appointed assistant coach of the Cool & Smooth Empire FC. (Photos by Thaddeus Price)

Cool & Smooth Empire, one of the country’s most successful football clubs, has become the first to appoint a woman coach in the Antigua & Barbuda Football Association’s (ABFA) Premier Division.

The club, that has won 13 top flight titles, prior to their match against Five Islands on Sunday, announced that senior national women’s player, Karen Warner, has been appointed assistant to Steveroy “Deman” Anthony.

Warner, speaking on the Good Morning JoJo Sports Show on Monday said that, at first, she was a bit hesitant in accepting the offer.

“I was very reluctant because of the fact that I am a female and working with males can be a bit difficult. I thought the males wouldn’t really react to me like how the females would react to me, so I was really a bit reluctant,” she said.

Akeilah Hillhouse and I, we normally talk so I asked how is it at Freeman’s Village in terms of the boys reacting to her and she told me I need to demand what I want, so I sat and I thought about it and decided I was going for it,” she added.

Warner, who plays for Empire Star Girls during the domestic women’s programme, said despite her earlier skepticism, she is hoping to take full advantage of the opportunity.

“I’ve been around the team for quite a while and there was a man appointed, but he wasn’t really showing much interest so I was asked and I accepted the position. Now that I am working with the guys, I am willing to work even harder so that they can accept me,” she said.

Warner enjoyed victory in her first match as a member of the team’s coaching staff with Empire beating a struggling Five Islands 3-0 at the ARG on Sunday.