July 26, 2018 11:01 pm
Updated: July 30, 2018 10:39 am

Montreal Impact Pre-Academy training program hires first female coach

The Montreal Impact is making history. For the first time ever, a woman is part of their coaching staff, working with the pre-academy. Gloria Henriquez caught up with the new hire.

A A

When Montserrat Flores Maso paces the sidelines of the Montreal Impact’s training centre, she does it with a certain lightness.

But also with the weight of history on her shoulders.

“I feel like I have a responsibility towards other women,” Flores said. “I think I opened the door.”

Flores is the first woman to join the Impact academy’s technical staff, helping shape future Montreal Impact players in the U-8 division.

Story continues below

“It’s pressure,” Flores explained. “To do well for them and to give them the most we can and to go to the next level.”

For Flores, this next level was a decade in the making.

Flores has been coaching since she was just 16 years-old.

The 26 year-old’s resume includes stints with the Concordia Regional Soccer Association and the Lac Saint-Louis Regional Soccer Association.

READ MORE: Former Canada player Patrice Bernier helps encourage local soccer talent

“I think in the 21st century, it’s time for a woman to have exactly the same space as men in sports,” said Philippe Gajevic, Pre-Academy coordinator and the man who hired Flores.

“Montserrat does have the competence, so I think she deserves 100 per cent to be here.”

And the kids think so, too.

“She helps us get better at soccer,” Kymari replied when asked about “coach Montse,” as kids affectionately call her.

“I love that she’s my trainer,” eight-year-old Omar Cherkaoui said.

“She trains us really well,” exclaimed Antoine Gingras, also eight.

READ MORE: Impact U17 looks to future after U.S. Development Academy league semis

Coaching is a path Flores could have never imagined for herself as a kid.

“Never, never,” she told Global News.

“In Mexico I was a little girl with dresses and Barbies. I was scared of the ball.”

And now a ball is helping her smash glass ceilings.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Report an error

Comments

Want to discuss? Please read our Commenting Policy first.