Express & Star

Lioness tackles sports lecturer role at university campus

Black Country-born former Blues defender Kerys Harrop has scored a new post at Wolverhampton University where she studied sports.

Kerys Harrop

The ex -Lioness footballer undertook a postgraduate sports research course at the university's Walsall Campus, in Gorway Road, in Walsall, where she gained vital skills in leadership, communication and teamwork as part of her master’s degree.

After recently retiring from the pitch she is now a lecturer in football coaching and performance for a a degree course offered at the School of Sport from this month.

Harrop, of Halesowen, spent 20 years with Blues where she won the FA Cup in 2012, and is the club’s all-time record appearance holder making 261 appearances in all competitions. Also the Women's Super League (WSL) record appearance holder, she represented England three times at under-20 level, playing at the 2010 FIFA Women’s U20 World Cup.

She recently made the news after breaking the record for most WSL appearances by playing 183 games in the competition.

The former Tottenham Hotspur defender, who was part of the Great Britain team to win Gold in Kazan at the 2013 World University Games, completed an internship at one of the university's partner professional football clubs.

Harrop made her WSL debut in 2011 for Birmingham City, where she played 135 league games. In her nine years there, the former England Under-20 defender helped Birmingham to two second-placed league finishes and FA Cup success in 2012.

She says: “My main aim coming onto the course and the degree full-time is to hopefully improve female recruitment, I definitely want to see more females coming through the door.

"Also sharing my knowledge and experience in the WSL as a professional footballer. I've got a lot of experience not just as a player but also being coached by some fantastic coaches.”

Rus Smith, Football Coaching and Performance Lecturer at the University, said: “ She is our signing of the summer and one that we hope to see the impact for many years to come.”

The course offers students hands-on experience in a number of key roles – and leading a team in a range of settings and partners such as Wolves, Albion and the Saddlers.