A Brentford FC Academy scout who is breaking down barriers in football hopes to do so away from the game as well.
Manisha Tailor quit her job as a teacher three years ago to focus on a career in football, becoming the first British Asian female to hold a scouting role with a Football League club.
She is also the head coach of the Middlesex FA's U9 Centre of Excellence and a schools coach for England’s most capped female player, Rachel Yankey, and to cap it all, won the
Woman in Football title at last year's Asian Football Awards.
It was a brave career change for a woman already qualified as a headteacher, but she had more than just her CV in mind.
Tailor, who also coaches Gibbons Wreckers FC in Harlesden, was hoping it would have a positive impact on the recovery of her twin brother, who is recovering from a mental breakdown caused by a long term serious depression.
Tailor said: “Being the other half of a twin who spent the majority of our early lives joined at the hip, my brother’s breakdown left me and my family beyond devastation. He was my soul mate.
“I was juggling a full time job and caring for my brother, and I made the decision to leave my post and work in a field that is extremely close to my heart. It is through football that my most cherished memories of my brother lie.
“I was aware of all the complications and hard work it would involve to break into what most would still say now is a predominantly male profession, and leaving job security for stepping into the unknown, I wasn’t sure what to expect.
“But I hoped my willingness, determination and passion for sport would make the risk worth it, along with the hope that it may impact positively on my brother’s recovery. It was my brother who showed me football, and I fell in love with it.
“Being a coach, scout and tutor allows me to transfer my knowledge, skills and experience to a football environment, which is something i am very passionate about. It takes drive, commitment and resilience to break down barriers, but I think we will see more Asians with professional contracts in various roles in the game soon.”