Sport

Duty calls: Wolves women's manager to miss 'historic' play-off final

Corporal Dan McNamara has already guided the women's football team to the National League Northern Premier title.

Wolves Women's football team is preparing for possibly the biggest game of their history this weekend – but their manager won't be there.

Royal Air Force Aircraft Technician, Corporal Dan McNamara is currently on a four-month overseas mission in an undisclosed location.

Having already missed several end-of-season games, the corporal will not be in attendance at Stockport County's Edgeley Park to see if his team can win promotion to the FA Women's National League (FAWNL) Championship.

Cpl McNamara spoke to Forces News about the "historic moment" for his Wolves side.

"On a personal level, I'm devastated not to be able to share that with the girls.

"You know after getting so much from the air force over the last few years, I think it's my time to give a little something back.

"It will certainly be a great occasion for everyone involved," he added.

Cpl McNamara, who is also the assistant coach for the UK Armed Forces women's side, will have his position in the Wolves dugout filled by UKAF head coach Sergeant Karl Milgate.

We asked Sgt Milgate if he felt any pressure being in the hot seat for the game.

He said: "We've discussed a few times, me and Macca, (Cpl McNamara) over the last few weeks about pressure and what it means, and I certainly know what it means to him and what he's put into this.

"So for three years input.. in terms of what Macca has done at Wolves and the group that are there, to then be suddenly be deployed at this point, at the poignant moment, is obviously... unthinkable, to be honest."

RAF Cpl Dan McNamara and Wolves women's football team manager celebrating title win DATE 11042022 CREDIT Wolves Womens Football Club.jpg
Wolves women's team celebrating their division title win in April (Picture: Wolves/ Wolves Women's Football Club).

Sgt Milgate added that they will "look to use it as a positive" that Cpl McNamara will be forced to watch the game via a live stream.

"On Saturday he will have live comms with us. And again, to be honest, we have discussed this.

"We'll use it as a positive and we'll use it to our advantage. 

"Macca's knowledge and detail. He will see things that we may not see on the side, the staff and myself.

"So actually it may be an advantage, to Wolves and Macca to see it differently and have input in a different way," he added.

The FAWNL Championship Play-Off Final has been called by Cpl McNamara and many fans the "game that shouldn't exist".

This is due to Wolves and Southampton both being winners of their respective Northern and Southern Premier divisions of the Women's National League – yet they still have to compete in this final game to gain further promotion.

Kick-off is tomorrow (Saturday, 21 May) at 15:00 BST, and is available on BBC player and BBC Sport Website and the BBC Sport app.

Cover image: Wolves /Wolves Women's Football Club.