The increased professionalism of women’s football will lead to more female coaches in the game, according to Leicester manager Willie Kirk.

At the end of the last Women’s Super League season, Kirk was one of seven male managers at the 12 clubs while a RunRepeat report in 2021 found that 72 per cent of head coaches at the top level of women’s football across the world were men. However, Kirk believes this will change now that more women are exposed to elite environments.

“Now that we are getting closer to a generation of players who have been professional full-time, you will get more female coaches falling out of that because they are better educated in the game, because they’ve spent more hours training and more hours playing, they’ve had more experiences with Euros and World Cups and Olympics,” Kirk told the latest episode of The Telegraph Women’s Sport Podcast. “So I do think players nowadays, because of the experiences they have been exposed to, will have learnt more and be able to transfer that across as a coach.

“In football, I see it as being a little bit patient and just waiting for this next generation of players to see through their playing careers and become really good coaches.”

Giselle Mather, the director of women’s rugby at Ealing Trailfinders, has more than 20 years’ experience in coaching and thinks those in decision-making positions need to be “brave” when it comes to appointing female coaches so it becomes the norm.

“The coaches are ready – they understand the games now, they’ve been involved in the sport for long enough – it is the people now who make those appointments who have got to be brave and take risks,” Mather said on the podcast themed on coaching.

“Where we’re at now, it’s not the female coaches issue, it’s those who employ the female coaches issue. It’s giving us the opportunity and it’s that level now that needs to be brave and say, ‘They’re good enough for the role’.

“I took the 16-to-18-year-old boys at London Irish who were looking for Premiership contracts. The head of the academy at the time, Toby Booth, and Neal Hatley, were the two that said, ‘You’re a teacher and you’re a level four rugby coach. This job is made for you’. They didn’t care less that I was a female.

“Nobody had an issue with it. The boys never had an issue, so much so that there was one occasion where we were playing and Sky Sports came to cover it. I explained to the boys the night before, ‘Look, they’re coming down because I’m a female coach’ and one of the boys went, ‘What?! We don’t even see you as female’. He then went, ‘Sorry, I don’t mean that badly.’ But that’s the ultimate compliment you can pay me. They didn’t gender; it’s the people looking in.”

This is the second episode in The Telegraph Women’s Sport Podcast’s six-part series and host Sam Quek, the Olympic gold medal-winning hockey player, said: “My standout guest was Giselle Mather. I obviously understand things from an athlete point of view but to hear from her perspective as coach, her openness and honesty, was fascinating.”

Listen to The Telegraph’s new podcast, The Telegraph Women’s Sport Podcast, on Apple Podcasts , Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts. Listen to episode one of this series HERE _. _