Aston Villa boss Davies living the dream as she eyes promotion

Aston Villa head coach Gemma Davies
Aston Villa head coach Gemma Davies

Aston Villa boss Gemma Davies admits nothing but promotion will do as she bids to replicate her male counterpart Dean Smith by taking her team into the top flight.

The Villans are riding high at the summit of the FA Women’s Championship after an unstoppable run of form that has yielded eight wins and a draw from their opening nine matches.

Davies took over as head coach in June 2018 and in doing so became the youngest manager in the top two divisions of women’s football and the top four divisions of English men’s football.

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But despite landing her dream job at just 25, the now 27-year-old insists she will only be satisfied when she has guided her hometown club into the Barclays FA Women’s Super League.

“Promotion is the aim and it is the ambition we are working towards every week,” said Davies, ahead of her team’s clash with Leicester City on Saturday.

“Managing Villa is my dream job. I have such pride in managing the club that I have supported all my life. We have a very loyal fan base who come to our games every week.

“I would love nothing more than to take this team to Women’s Super League.”

Sunday’s win at London Bees was Villa’s eighth of the campaign and came courtesy of a stunning second-half free-kick from Emma Follis at The Hive.

Villa have already scored 25 goals this season with their entertaining style of possession-based football, which owes a debt to the promotion-winning men’s team.

And Davies revealed her admiration of Smith’s approach to the game, which saw the men’s team win the lucrative play-off final, encouraged her to employ a similar method with her side.

“We want to play attractive football,” she said. “I was at the play-off final, it was an awesome day to see the club get promoted back to where it should.”

Davies was awarded the league’s manager of the month award in August after Villa’s perfect start and insists she sees no reason why her age should impact her ability to do her role.

She added: “There are lot of coaches across the league who have a great deal more experience, but I am a hard worker and have aspirations to be where they are – age is just a number.”

To follow the action, buy tickets and sign-up for The FA Player’s live Barclays FA Women’s Super League coverage visit womenscompetitions.thefa.com

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