Interview with Graham Bates

We are happy to present to you the interview we did with the Head Coach GEPS20 of Girls & Women’s Football Club, Teacher, former CEO Economic/Environ/Edu NGOs, and a supporter of Austria Wien/Leicester City/First Vienna – Graham Bates.

In this interview, Mr. Bates talks about women’s football culture in Austria, the biggest differences between women’s and men’s teams, and how he sees the future of Austria’s football.


Where do you see the Austrian women’s game in the next few years?

  • Growing. It’s definitely growing, and we are gonna see, especially after the Euros next year, we will see another injection of enthusiasm. Question is whether the infrastructure is gonna keep up enough to give those girls the opportunity.

In your opinion, what is the big difference between the women’s and men’s football in Austria?

  • Pitches! The men have all the pitches, men have all the clubs, ehm but that’s history… Men stole football from women originally…The fifty-year ban came as much as anything because the women’s game was more popular or just as popular as the men’s and it threatened the men’s football clubs. In England, the FA banned women’s football and it kicked off across the rest. And we still have the resource issue. If there was as many spaces for girls as boys over a short period of time those spaces would be filled. But if you follow this traditional model, there will never be enough girls to justify filling the pitches, you have to do it the other way around.

What are you hoping will change in the next few years?

  • Parent attitude! Parents need to understand that when their girls play football, they are not gonna suddenly be a superstar overnight, yeah. Girls have traditionally, in most cases, been kicking the ball. But you get a girl playing football when she’s young, and give her a few years of proper training, she’ll be just as good technically as any boy, uhm, and she’ll have more fun with it. Because at the end of the day, I’ve trained boys and I’ve trained boys, most boys want to be Messi or Ronaldo, most girls want to play football.
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