Matt Beard spent much of the offseason building the squad and his coaching staff for the Liverpool FC Women’s side primarily with people he has worked with in the past. You can now add Strength and Conditioning coach Colm Smith to that list.
David Robshaw, who previously held that position with the Reds, moved away after getting married, leaving Beard to find a replacement quickly. It just so happened that Smith, who had been on the staff at West Ham when Beard was there, was available. Smith came to Liverpool and quickly settled in.
“I was with Matt and a few of the staff at West Ham,” said Smith.
“I’m loving it up here, loving the people, loving the environment. There’s a very friendly atmosphere between the players and the staff, and it’s very enjoyable to say the least!”
There was another familiar face around the Solar Campus, as Leanne Kiernan was also with West Ham while Smith was there. Kiernan and Smith also come from neighboring towns in Ireland.
“I’m from Kingscourt whereas Leanne’s from the other side of the hill – the dark side – in Baileborough!”
Colm Smith started his career in London, focusing on some of the more traditional Irish sports six years ago. He eventually transitioned over to football full time, and has worked his way up the ladder in the Women’s game.
“In that time I worked in rugby, Gaelic football, hurling – a bit of everything really. I started an internship at Harlequins rugby club, also worked at Ealing Trailfinders and another team called Esher. Then I got into football and was at Chelsea Women’s RTC, the academy programme, for two-and-a-half years before going over to West Ham. I finished there in September and now I’m here. The position opened up and I was getting married around the same time so it was a pretty hectic period.”
With a major period of transition for Smith, it could be expected that he may take a little while to feel comfortable in his new role at Liverpool. It has been a smooth start, however, and much of that is up to the great environment around the club right now.
“The girls are brilliant, the energy they bring every day is great, as well as the staff, to be fair. It’s a very healthy environment. Even just training here at The Campus alongside Tranmere, they’re all brilliant as well, everyone up here is so friendly. I’m loving it so far.”
It appears that the players have gotten quite comfortable with Smith in a short period of time, giving him a, um, warm welcome at one of their training sessions a couple of weeks ago.
It’s great to see that Smith and the players already have a good comfort level with one another. He will play an essential role in getting them physically prepped and ready to compete. While on the Men’s side, there is a whole team of people who manage different aspects of everything from weight training to conditioning and recovery to diet and nutrition, on the Women’s side, there is just Colm Smith.
“You have to look at the whole programme, from everything the girls are doing on the pitch to what they’re doing in the gym, before the sessions, after the session, look at nutrition. You have to look at every aspect of physical performance.”