SUNRISE, Florida – As Concacaf continues its mission to further develop women’s football, one of the many areas that has been positively impacted is coaching.
Leading the way among a new generation of young women’s football coaches is Vanessa Martinez Lagunas, who currently serves as the Head Coach at the University of Manitoba in Canada.
This week Martinez has taken part in Concacaf Coaching Education course in Sunrise, Florida and took a moment to reflect on the growth of women’s football.
“It has improved a lot in the technical, tactical and physical aspects,” said Martinez in an exclusive interview with Concacaf.com.
“I feel that now the physical demands are higher than they were previously, also the players have the opportunity to train since they were little and there are now professional structures in place in women’s football, so all of that has helped in the technical, tactical and physical development of women’s football in general,” added Martinez.
For coaches like Martinez, events like the Concacaf Coaching Education course she attended this week are pivotal to the growth of the sport throughout the entire region.
“I feel like one of the keys is coaching education, coaches who are more prepared so that they can keep guiding the development of both men’s and women’s footballers,” said Martinez.
Reaching lofty goals has always been part of Martinez’s DNA. After starring as a player at the University of Texas at Austin and with the Mexican National Team, she then became the first Latin American woman to obtain a UEFA Pro License, doing so through the German Football Federation, which is the highest certification level worldwide.
She feels her accomplishments can lay the groundwork for future Latin American female coaches.
“I don’t have the numbers, but it shows that there are no limits. I did the course in Germany and to be able to take the course I had to learn German, so I made it so there were no limits. I think that can motivate more women to do it because we need more women that reach those high levels because there are just a few of us in the world. There are fewer than 100 women that have obtained a UEFA professional license,” said Martinez.
While Martinez says she is happy in Manitoba, her ambitions are to one day soon coach at the professional or national team level.
“I would like a lot to keep helping the development of women’s football and of course the dream of any coach is to do it at the highest level possible. I am now coaching at the university level in Canada, which is the highest level of women’s football in the country but of course in the future I would like to coach a professional team or a national team,” concluded Martinez.