Woking Ladies’ new boss seeks evolution, not revolution

WOKING Ladies’ new boss Benson Miyoba is targeting promotion for his side next season.

Miyoba, 43, has joined the Cards from Guildford City Women, where he began a team from scratch last summer.

New boss Benson Miyoba

And now together with his wide experiences from a career in football and business, he is looking to take Woking to the next level.

Talking exclusively to the News & Mail, Miyoba – pictured – said: “Promotion next year needs to be the goal.

“I don’t know the squad well yet, but from what I’ve seen there’s a nice vibe about them.

“The club is in a stable position as I’m coming into it, which is great. So keeping it that way is the first aim.

“Then it’s also about introducing some new behaviours and standards in terms of the professionalism that I think I can influence. It doesn’t have to be expensive.

“For a living for the past 25 years, I’ve helped change teams and cultures, so I’ve got resources and people around me that can help support that.

“I think if you give players all of that, then you’re giving them ownership to take it as far as they want to.

“If we want to win the league [Southern Region Women’s League Division One South] next year, obviously something – it doesn’t have to be personnel – needs to be slightly different because we’re mid-table now and not looking like getting promoted.

“Once we’re all agreed on what that is – with the input of everyone around the club – I’m pretty sure we can achieve it.”

Having played football up until his mid-20s for the likes of Chelmsford City, Miyoba has only got back into the game in recent years.

But starting on his coaching journey has clearly relit a fire inside him.

He said: “It was a mistake to step away from football completely. But I’m loving being back.

“I’d known some people at Woking for a while – such as John Monday [chief executive of Cardinals in the Community]. We had a few chats about football and he told me a bit about what was happening at the club.

“Many years ago I played against Woking [for Chelmsford]. So I knew they were a big name in football and I kept an eye on their women’s side [for any opportunities], and this came out of the blue. The ambition for me personally is to manage at the highest level possible in women’s football, and to do that I felt that Woking was a bigger wave to ride – and at a stage where they are ready to kick on.”

Miyoba’s desire to make an impact not just with the first team but among the wider local community chimes with Woking’s overall ethos as a club, and he feels there’s no better time to start on that mission.

He said: “It’s a good time to focus on women’s football, particularly with the UEFA European Women’s Football Championship next year.

“I got ballot tickets for the final, which I’m chuffed about.

“I think now we’re starting to see more and more women in football for people to look up to, and not just on the playing side but also in the media.

“For us here at Woking it’s about creating a culture that breeds success throughout the community, headed up by a first team that moves up the levels.

“It’s not unrealistic to get to the National League, as the men have done.

“We just need a culture that attracts people to come along and feel valued, not feel separate from the men’s club, and give everything they’ve got to the cause.

“If we do that, then I think we can get to the places the club wants to get to quite quickly.”

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