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Q&A With New Utah Royals FC Sporting Director, Kelly Cousins (Chambers)


What attracted you to this job with the Utah Royals?

  • The initial attraction wasbecause the NWSL is a league I have always been interested in. The attraction to the Utah Royals in particular is that they are an expansion team that are not only building from scratch but also already have a history we can build from. Also, after having conversations with Michelle and others at the club and hearing their passion to build the club around the community and to empower women is something I want to be a part of and help them to achieve. 

This will be your first time working in the NWSL, what are your thoughts on the league & what differences between England & the states?

  • The league has always been a driving force in women’s football and it’s great now that there are other leagues that compete with the NWSL. The league is completely different to other women’s leagues around the world in how it’s run, especially with the draft, which is such an interesting and unique concept that I cannot wait to get involved with. 

Now that you have the job, what’s your biggest priority?

  • My biggest priority is to build a roster to compete in 2024. I also want to build a staff and an infrastructure to give the players everything they need to be at their best every day. 

What type of humans & players are you looking to recruit?

  • Obviously, we want the best players, but I want players that are going to work hard and give everything for each other, the club and the fans! Having the right people, staff and players is so important. I want people that are humble, have humility and are hard working. 

How would you describe your ideal playing style?

  • I like my teams to be confident in possession, but also adaptable to the needs of the game. My teams will always be high paced, energetic and hard working. 

What are you most looking forward to when you arrive in Utah?

  • I can’t wait to meet everyone in person. Everyone has been great, but everything has been virtual so meeting them in person will be special. 

Knowing this is a Club built by women for women what makes you most excited to join the team of Amy and Michelle?

  • I’m most excited to join Michelle and Amy because I have seen their passion and hard work to build something successful. Joining an all-female leadership group as a female myself in the women’s game just shows how this club wants to empower women. 

What do you foresee as the challenges and benefits of building a team from the ground up? 

  • The challenges I see is having to sign 24 players in such a short space of time and around all the different transfer windows. Saying that, it’s also the exciting bit as we can bring in players that will suit our philosophy and suit the club. 

Having been a former player and coach yourself, what excites you the most about working with a former player as a head coach?

  • For me, we couldn’t have a better blend of two people that understand the game as players and coaches. Amy brings her experience in the NWSL which will be vital for my learning and integration, and I will bring my experience from outside of this league. Also, I’m excited to work with Amy and to support her on her coaching career to be as successful as she can be. I hope my managerial experiences will also help as I have vast experience in managing players and staff albeit in a different country and environment with different competition structures.