Another exciting QA today, without further ado –
For our lovely audience would you be kind enough to introduce yourself?
Sure, I’m Michael McDougall, first team coach at Morton women
A coach you say? Tell us more?
Yeah so after spending a few years at Glasgow City I moved onto Morton link back up with Wills (Laura Williamson). We play in SWFL Division 2 West.
So whats going on at the club at the moment?
Morton is a club that’s really going places, the structure is now complete with a pathway from small kids right up to a senior team. This is the first year we’ve had a senior team at the club on the women’s and girls side and we’re sitting top of the league halfway through the season which is fantastic and is testament to the level of work our players put in for us.
Do you have any success stories from the club?
The vast majority of the squad is made up of players who have come all the way through the age groups at Morton which I think is a massive success (not starting to name them because I’ll forget someone haha), we’ve added in a few older/more experienced players which has helped everyone kick on and develop other parts of their game so I think that while we obviously want to continue as we have been and win the league, the year has already been a success in my opinion because of what those players have achieved in terms of personal and team growth.
How about yourself? What was it that inspired you to become a coach?
I was fortunate enough to have played with some very talented players and be coached by some great coaches. Unfortunately a lot of serious knee injuries held me back and so when I finally accepted it was time to stop kidding myself on I just wanted to coach, it kept me involved in football then it turned out I was half decent at it and I developed a real passion for helping to develop young footballers.
Do you have any plans for the future?
My plans are to continue my own learning, there is always things a coach can learn regardless of how many courses and qualifications they do it’s the training pitch that matters, nobody is perfect and nobody has all this answers because football is always changing. From a team point of view I am really happy where I am, I wasn’t enjoying my football for a while but I have a fantastic partnership with Wills and the opportunity to work with her again was too good to turn down, and thanks to the players willingness to learn and work rate I’ve found my passion for coaching again.
What would your piece of advice for any young player coming through the ranks?
Where do I start! The 1.5-2 hours a couple of nights isn’t where you training begins and ends, you have to continually work on all aspects of your game in your own time as well, always looking to improve. You have to make sacrifices, if you want to be the best player you can possibly be you need to be willing to give up some things for the end result.
What are your thoughts on the national teams performance in the Euros in terms of how the youth culture has benefited the team?
I’ve admittedly been quite vocal about the performances, but I think in general terms the country being there will have a massive effect on what our youths will want to be. They’ll see Caroline Weir, Fiona Brown, Erin Cuthbert, Chloe Arthur and players of that ilk and hopefully be more determined to work and to become the next line of young players that are coming into these teams. The result/outcomes were not what anyone wants to see but that’s something that can be changed over time, but who does not want to represent their country on the international stage, playing the sport we love?
Big thanks to Michael for taking some time to chat to me today, hopefully some of his wisdom will prove to be beneficial.