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Page last updated at 13:27 GMT, Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Fisher place faith in manageress

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Report - Fisher look to manageress

Fisher Athletic are set to make football history when a female manager leads them out for Wednesday's Blue Square South match against Eastleigh.

Club turnstile operator Donna Powell raised 500 for the struggling club and was rewarded with becoming the first woman to manage a Conference side.

"I am confident I can do well - I already run a boys' football team," Powell told the club's website.

"I am no shrinking violet and do not suffer fools lightly."

The 27-year-old, who takes over from regular boss Dave Mehmet for one game, added: "I'll be picking the team and they'll be playing my way, none of this long ball nonsense - we'll be passing the ball on the floor, playing the game the right way.

"Sure, I'll be nervous - I realise there's a difference between kids' football and the Conference South but I see it as football is football no matter how old they are - and I know my stuff."

Fisher press officer Joe Arif added: "If Donna can turn things round, then who knows - maybe there's a permanent position in future."

Powell told BBC 5 Live that she does not see any problem with a woman managing a men's team.

"A man manages a women's football team so I don't see why not. As long as they've got the credentials then it should be fine," she said.

Cherie Lunghi played the football manager in The Manageress
Cherie Lunghi played a female manager in TV drama The Manageress

The south London club have lost their last 10 matches and are a point off the bottom of the table, while Eastleigh are joint third in the league.

Eastleigh director of football David Malone said that the appointment "devalues the league".

"I'm not particularly happy about it, simply because we've got to concentrate our minds on getting three points from the game. I think what they've done is unprofessional," he told BBC Radio Solent.

606: DEBATE
"Fisher have done it for financial reasons, and I can partly understand that, but I don't think being manager of a Blue Square South team is a saleable commodity.

"I don't want to sound like a grumpy old man - which I probably do - but at this stage of the season we're working extremely hard to get our side up into the Blue Square Premier, and I think the whole thing is just badly timed."

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