Photo by Matt Lewis – The FA/The FA via Getty Images
Who is Laura Harvey?
I am 31 years old, I currently work full time for Arsenal FC as the Ladies 1st Team Manager and the Elite Education Program director. I am a UEFA A licence coach and have been coaching for nearly 10 years.
Where did you grow up playing Football?
I grew up in a village in Warwickshire called Bulkington. I have a younger brother and we both had a love for the game from a early age. Our father is a A licnce coach and worked for the FA and Coventry City FC part time throughout our childhood so we come from a coaching background. I played from a young age and was lucky that there were a lot of opportunities for girls to play football where we lived. At 22 I ruptured my ACL which put a early end to my playing career, but I always loved coaching so focused on that and tried to progress as much as I could.
Who do you consider as a coaching role model and why?
My biggest coaching role model growing up was probably my dad, he would always be teaching us the game . It was a great environment to grow up in learning the game when everyone was together, we would bounce ideas off each other. Since being involved in my jobs I have gained some great friends who have always helped me with my development and gave me opportunites from a young age. Marcus Bignot and Michael Moore have had a major part to play in pushing me throughout my career, they gave me my first coaching position in a club and have constantly kept me on my toes throughout my coaching career.
Your currently the first team manager at Arsenal Ladies. What does this role involve?
My role includes coaching and managing the first team we train a minimum of twice a week, but I’m also the director of our Elite Education Academy program. This is a full time program where sessions are taught everyday and first team players can also access this.
What day to day challenges do you face in the female game?
Media, finance are always going to be the toughest challenges in the womens game.
What attributes do you look for in todays modern game?
Technically sound players are always players I look for, I believe that you can really change physical attributes quite quickly, but to change technical ability takes time. In our academy we look for players that have a potential or stand out attribute as we have the time to change them. When signing players for the first team, they need to have something exceptional to progress within our first team and we can work on the weaknesses where needed.
Your the Head Coach for England U19 women’s team. How do you select these players? Where are most of them playing?
Due to my Arsenal commitments I don’t work for the international set up at the moment. Mo Marley is the head coach of the U19’s I was her assistant.
How can people find out more information regarding the FAWSL?
www.fawsl.com this has all the teams and league info needed.
How do you continue to educated yourself?
I’m a football geek, I watch lots of games both in the mens and womens game. I study different types of coaches and styles of play. Where possible I like to watch other coaches work to get ideas on how they manage their sessions and players.