Coleg y Cymoedd’s very own female football academy coach, Kathryn Morgan, is in Qatar this month to commentate on the Welsh games at this year’s FIFA World Cup alongside the BBC.
Kathryn Morgan, who had a successful career as a professional female footballer before joining the college, will be working for BBC Radio Cymru and Radio Wales as part of the broadcaster’s coverage of the Welsh matches this November.
She will join the likes of Nathan Blake, Iwan Roberts, Danny Gabbidon and Neil Taylor in Qatar for three weeks during Wales’ first qualifying matches – the country’s first appearance in the World Cup since 1958 – delivering news bulletins and leading a Q&A podcast with the Football Association of Wales (FAW).
A former international player, Kathryn represented several teams during her 15-year footballing career including Inter Cardiff (now Cardiff City), Barry Town, Bristol Rovers, and the Welsh national women’s team, becoming the first female footballer in Wales to secure 50 caps.
After attending the 2016 World Cup in France, she was invited by BBC Radio Cymru to join the channel as a pundit, offering commentary on the competition. Since then, she has commentated on several national games and worked with BBC Radio Wales on several occasions, before being approached to join the team in Qatar.
Kathryn said: “I was on holiday when I received a phone call from the BBC asking me if I was free in November. They told me to write ‘in Qatar’ in my diary and I just couldn’t believe it. I never thought something like this would happen to me and I’m still pinching myself that I’m even going – excited isn’t even the word!”
From a young age, Kathryn was determined to play football and at seven years old, she persuaded boys in the playground to let her join them after watching and practising their techniques. Her passion became a profession when she joined Inter Cardiff Women’s team at 17, kickstarting her career.
“I had a late start playing club football, mainly because I was a girl and it wasn’t as easy to play to the standard it is now ,” Kathryn said, “but I remember seeing an advertisement in the first ever issue of Wales on Sunday, calling out players for the Inter Cardiff Wales women’s team, now Cardiff City Women’s, and I knew I had to go for it.”
Following her stint as a footballer, Kathryn moved into education and taught at Ysgol y Cymer, Ysgol Gyfun Cwm Rhymni and Ysgol Gyfun Garth Olwg as a PE teacher for a sum of 20 years before taking her professional experience to the then brand-new women’s football academy at Coleg y Cymoedd as a coach in 2018. At the college, she is responsible for carrying out field and gym coaching for the female team, alongside teaching practical analysis.
She added: “I have lived and breathed football for as long as I can remember and always wanted a career within it, despite growing up at a time when it wasn’t easy to be a woman and a footballer. I love teaching, I am happy to invest all my time into those that want to learn, have a good attitude, and want to be coached.
“I could only have dreamed of being part of a women’s football academy when I was a teenager, and the fact that I am now able to provide that coaching and mentorship myself, with everything I have learnt over the years, to the next generation feels so full circle. It’s incredible to see how much things have progressed for women’s football. “I’m grateful for where my career has taken me and the experiences, like Qatar, that I get to be part of everyday.”
Rhondda Cynon Taff
Heol y Coleg
Rhondda Cynon Taff