So far, it’s been a titanic effort for Aberdare just to got on the field for two friendly games amid all the restrictions.
With just a single training session behind them as the full group, Zoe’s team did her proud as they won 7-0 at Tonyrefail.
The second friendly match proved a bit tougher – as anticipated – as they went down 5-0 to Cardiff Bluebirds, who play in Division One.
It helps that Zoe is currently studying for her and UEFA B coaching licence, but it might also have been a huge benefit that her professional background is in the theatre.
“Being an ex-stage manager helped straight away with all the organisation.
“I did online theory sessions that I planned for the girls who couldn’t come to training.
“I also got another two coaches in Cardiff to take the girls who were Cardiff-based because that was quite a large group of girls. Then, my player from Caerphilly, I got her to get in touch with a local club in Blackwood and they were really lovely and let her train with them so that she could get some football.”
Having built an entire new team and coped with a global pandemic, Aberdare and their resourceful manager are now looking to the future.
“I’ve paid for two of my players to go and do their coaching badges, I’m also trying to help other girls get into coaching and refereeing as well.
“I want to keep as many girls and women in football as possible. Some who are there just for fun have the potential to maybe go pro. For them it’s about maybe nudging them in the right direction because for women - even now - it’s hard to think ‘I could have a career in this.’
“I would love to be still be playing. I’m only 31. But I gave up football because I didn’t have the support that should have been there.
“So, now I just want to make sure that that doesn’t happen to anyone else.”