Saffron Walden PSG under-16s have bid a sad farewell to long-term coach Paul Player.

Described as a 'central cog in the PSG coaching team for many years' he started when aged just 16, assisting with an under-10 boys' team.

In 2015, daughter Ruby joined the under-nine girls' team coached by Nate Weersing and Tony Pez and six months later he decided to become an official coach and completed his FA badge to be able to help.

Player has continued to coach at PSG since 2016, moving up a year group each time to continue to coach his daughter and her team.

The coaching team was headed at the time by Weersing and assisted by James Stringer, Adam Moulds, Brian Moorey, Duncan Parish, and Player.

When Weersing decided to retrain as a teacher in 2019 and did not have the time to continue as head coach, Player agreed to step up and has been head coach for the team ever since.

“Without Paul taking over at that time, the team may very well have folded,” said Weersing.

In his time with the team, Player has seen some great successes and provided the girls with fantastic opportunities within the sport. N

The under-11s travelled to Denmark for a tournament organised by Weersing, where they played indoors and outside in the snow on the 3G pitch! Some of the girls had never left England before and for many it was their first time on an aeroplane.

In 2017, when playing as under-11s, the girls won the league title which was no small feat given the fact they were training on tennis courts and the deciding match was against Cambridge City, who had a year-round 3G pitch for training and a much bigger pool of girls from which to select the team.

With Ruby having completed her GCSEs, Paul has decided to step back from coaching and the team he coached will continue in the under-17/18s season under Weersing and Moorey, with head coach Keith Carter.

This team still includes Ruby and four other girls who have played for 10 years, since the club first began when they were seven years old – Abbey, Lily, Olivia and Lottie.

A team statement said: “We will miss Paul very much. He has put a great deal of time and passion into women’s football and our team especially. We are very grateful to him and hope to continue to make him proud.”