Trainee women’s football coach from Manchester ‘undeterred’ by Joey Barton’s anti female pundit outburst

“Can I swear?”

That’s the response from Isabelle Gavin, 17, an aspiring football coach from Crumpsall in Manchester when asked for her reaction to Joey Barton’s latest rant against women in football.  

“It’s obviously misogynistic, but I don’t feel his opinions should affect women in sport” says the Sheffield United Community Foundation student.

Barton has recently updated a post he wrote about Mary Earps after she picked up the Sports Personality of the Year award.  Initially Barton claimed he would score 100 out of 100 penalties against Earps, but last week he amended it: “I was wrong. I would actually have scored 1,000 out of a 1,000 penalties with my left foot against her.”

That came after he described Eni Aluko and Lucy Ward as “the Fred and Rose West of football commentary”.

Gavin is currently studying a B-Tec in Sport with a view to coaching on a professional level in both the women’s and men’s game.  

According to a report published by the Office of National Statistics in 2023 there were a total of 74,300 women working in sport in the UK making up 44% of the overall number of people working in the industry.

Gavin is an avid Manchester United supporter and can regularly be seen (and heard) at Manchester United Women games following the team both home and away. 

“There’s lots of opportunities within college. They give us tips on jobs within sport. We had to do an assignment on the different roles there are within sport.”

Although she enjoyed knockabouts with the boys in the playground, Gavin says her primary school offered something rare at that age at that time – an all-girl’s team.  It kick-started her passion for the beautiful game.

Gavin said: “It opened up more options and opportunities for the girls.”

She remains undeterred by the negativity of the likes of Barton: 

“It’s not just one job for a man and another job for a woman. I can’t recall ever receiving any misogynistic or negative comments directed towards me.  If I have, it definitely hasn’t affected me.”

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