Clermont Foot Hires its First Female Coach

July 15, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. scout /skaʊt/ (v.) – to find someone who has the potential in sports or entertainment
Example: The manager will head to the countryside to scout for new players.

2. novice /ˈnɒv ɪs/ (n.) – a beginner or a person who does not have any experience in a particular field
Example: I am a novice in table tennis; I have never played it before.

3. know the ropes /noʊ ðə roʊps / (idiom.) – to have enough experience or knowledge about something
Example: If you want to join a soccer club, you should know the ropes.

4. take up /ˈteɪkˌʌp/ (v.) – to start a job or position
Example: After the manager’s retirement, Johnny will take up the job.

5. commitment /kəˈmɪtmənt/ (n.) – the state of being dedicated or devoted into something
Example: The team shows commitment into winning the championship.


Read the text below.
Helen Costa became the first female coach of a French professional men’s football club after being hired by Clermont Foot.

The announcement came after Coach Regis Brouard wished not to extend his contract with Ligue 2 Clermont Foot after a frustrating 1-0 defeat to Dijon [dee-zhawn].

Costa is not a novice in football as she had already coached for Benfica’s youth teams and scouted for Scottish Celtics. In addition, she coached the women’s national teams of Qatar and Iran.

Players from Clermont welcomed the appointment of Costa with enthusiasm. Striker Remy Dugimont said Costa definitely knows the ropes because of her professional background in football. Clermont defender Anthony Lippini admitted that it can be shocking at first, but then said that Costa’s appointment is just as normal as having women in the military. 

Celtics, Costa’s former team, also congratulated her for taking up this new role. The team is confident that Costa will show the same dedication and commitment to Clermont Foot as she did to the Celtics. 

While Costa is the first female coach in the French football industry, having women in men’s sports is nothing new. Nelly Viennot [vye-NOT], for example, was hired as the assistant referee in an elite match in France in the late 1990s. Carolina Morace [mo-RUH-che] also became the first female to coach a professional men’s team Viterbese [vi-ter-BEY-se], but for only two matches.

According to Marian Spacey, assistant manager of England Women’s Team, men’s football industry hires women not because of gender but because of their qualifications. She added that Clermont made the right decision in hiring Costa.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         If you were a player from Clermont, would you feel awkward having a female coach? Why or why not?
·         What do you think can be the advantages of having a female coach?

Discussion B

·         How can we encourage more women to participate in sports?
·         Why do you think the sports industry seems to be dominated by males?

July 15, 2014