New Stoke City Ladies first team coach Chloe Jones, says the Potters are aiming for the highest echelons of women’s football.
The former Liverpool and Aston Villa defender has chosen women’s National League North side Stoke City as her first coaching role, since her retirement from her playing career in May 2018, a decision that was a pivotal point in her life.
“It was a massive decision and really a life changing one. I was making the decision about one of the most important things in my life and something that has been my identity in some ways. I appreciate every opportunity that I was given in football and know how lucky I have been.”
Stoke currently lie in fourth position in the league and are eight points away from leaders Blackburn Ladies. However, in the turbulent world of women’s football, being first in the table is far from a guarantee of promotion, as Jones knows from her time as a player.
“As we’ve seen in recent years, teams have won the league and still have not been awarded a place in the Championship. Behind the scenes and the structure need to be so strong to show that the club can commit to and adhere to the standards and requirements. I think the key is to not rush that process and to make sure that everything is perfectly set up and in place before applying, because if we were accepted into the league, we would want to be successful,” said Jones.
“Long term, we want to be pushing for the title and in the future to be a part of the Championship and even the WSL. We have very high targets and we all truly believe that they can be achieved.”
The transition between player and coach can be a difficult one but Jones has been helped by the players and coaches already in place.
“Making the transition into coaching from playing was always going to be strange at first but the girls have been extremely supportive. The talent and ability that the club has within the teams is superb and the players are a dream to coach. They have a great mix of experience and youth which is fantastic and means that the next generation of Stoke City Ladies are already a part of the system.”