THERE are times when the phrase ‘making a difference’ is overused, but in the case of one amateur women’s football coach, the term does not go far enough.

Harriet Miller is the coach of City of Liverpool Ladies, and has been involved in football in the city and the north west for more than 30 years.

And her dedication to the game was recognised on Friday night as she was honoured with the Unsung Hero award at The FA Women’s Football Awards, held at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel.

And a shocked Harriet was quick to praise the contribution of everyone who has helped her build the organisation to what it is today.

“It’s unbelievable – I don’t deserve this, it’s not just me. I work with a group of people who are extra special, and it makes my life much easier,” she said.

“I’m totally, totally gobsmacked, to put it in somebody else’s words!

“We have all different types of women playing football from us from the age of 16, some of the girls we have playing for us are homeless, and that was something that I wanted to bring into the team to give something back to the community. That’s what we do and what our team is all about.

“It takes a while for them to adjust to the situation with girls who are not homeless, but once they’ve integrated, it’s amazing for me, because I know that when they turn up at training on Wednesday or a game at the weekend, they are part of a family.”

Wandsworth Guardian:

The FA Women’s Football Awards celebrated an exciting year for women’s football and recognised the achievements of clubs, players, staff and the excellent work by volunteers at the grassroots level of the game.

The awards also highlighted the success of The FA’s Gameplan for Growth, launched earlier in 2017, which aims to double participation and the fan-base of the women’s game by 2020 and create sustained success at elite international level.

As a player, Miller represented Newsham PH Ladies FC, Runcorn Linnets Ladies and Mond Rangers Ladies where she became player manager in 1997, winning back-to-back promotions as well as a league and cup double.

Then as a coach, Miller worked at Everton’s Girls’ football academy and school of excellence for over ten years, nurturing the club’s future stars, before becoming the manager of newly formed City of Liverpool Ladies in the North West Women’s Regional League South.

For Harriet, the award is about recognising the potential of girls and women who do not have more options, and who simply want to play football, whatever their motives.

And she dedicated the prize to someone very close to her.

“It’s not just about the girls on their own, fighting the world, they are part of a team and family, and they absolutely love it – I’m happy to see them happy,” she said.

“It gives you a focus in life – this is something else to focus on and it’s something different – it’s very important to be part of it.

“I lost my mum three years ago, she’s always been the most important person in my life and she made me the person I am – this is for her.”

For more information and to see all the award winners visit www.thefa.com/forgirls  Join the conversation online using the hashtag #FAWomensAwards.