Martin Ho is making the most of his ‘massive opportunity’ to be Everton Ladies assistant head coach.
Andy Spence named Ho as his number two 18 months ago and the pair have guided the Blue Girls to the Spring Series title and a return to WSL 1.
Having studied for his coaching badges at 18, Ho has since gained plenty of experience working with various age groups, before taking a role with the ladies' Centre of Excellence overseeing the Under-16s.
He now combines that role with his post as assistant head coach of the senior squad and admits he has had to learn on the job in order to adapt to working at the highest level.
“It’s been a season and a half now and it’s going well,” Ho told evertonfc.com. “I’m enjoying it and learning plenty so it’s been a good move. I love being on the training pitch and helping players develop, but also them challenging me. Then on top of that, it’s been great to see the Club move forward like it has over the last 12 months or so.
“Coming into this environment as assistant head coach was totally different to what I had done previously. It is a first team of a football club with a big reputation and a big history.
“I have had to come in and soak it all up as I go along. But I am learning from the other coaches and from Andy every day. You take ideas from other coaches that you come across and watch, and try to implement them into your own methods. You do have to tweak them and mould them to suit the players that you work with and the group as a whole. So I am learning on the job in spells but those around me support me."
The relationship between Head Coach and assistant head coach is a vital one for a club to be successful. Admittedly, the personalities of Spence and Ho are different but, as the latter explains, that has bred a strong rapport between the duo.
“Andy has worked alongside some top coaches, like Mo Marley for example, so it has been a case of how I can I take things off him and use them,” he added. “But Andy is the same – how can he take things off me and use them. So far it’s been about how we can bounce ideas between the two of us, whether that is tactically, technically or socially and personally.
“Andy is obviously quite a bubbly character, who is very passionate about wanting the team to do well, where as I am more 'when you cross that white line it is time to work'. I’m only focused on coaching and developing players. I would say I’m the stricter of the two of us, although sometimes that can come across as moody! But that’s only because when I am out on the pitch, it's business time and it's time to get serious. I love my job, but it is my job to prepare our players the best way that I can, and support Andy in any way I can.
“Andy and I have different ways of working but so far it is working out well. Between the two of us, we should be able to come up with the right approach to things. We both talk through ideas a lot and make sure we are in agreement over the right course of action. At the end of the day, collectively we have to know that we are doing the best for the team.”