Anna Cordwell – Chair
Having been raised in the football tradition by the females of the family, Anna Cordwell started watching Sheffield United FC with her mum and sister when she was in primary school. While not being remotely athletic, she enjoys watching sports, with a particular soft spot for football, and is passionate about their ability to bring people together. As someone with a strong belief in equal opportunities and the celebration of diversity, Anna was thrilled to have the opportunity to be involved with AFC Unity, challenging the perception of football as a purely men’s sport and promoting an inclusive, community spirit.
Charlotte Marshall – Director & Welfare Champion
Charlotte has a real passion and love for football. She is a player for the club and has played within teams since the age of 9, having played for several teams with her longest time at Sheffield United Junior Blades. She also played for her school team, Birley Community College, who came second in the Nationals, and through this she was scouted for the Sheffield United Centre of Excellence. Charlotte is studying English Language at Sheffield Hallam University and came across AFC Unity through Venture Matrix; she found a placement within the club to assist in numerous roles, after which she then also decided to transfer from her old club Socrates to also play for AFC Unity. Charlotte has now also been voted onto the Board of Directors for the club and has some exciting projects lined up for the future to get stuck into.
Jane Watkinson – Co-founder and Secretary
Jane is involved in running the club behind the scenes, helping with administration, research, evaluation and fundraising for on the pitch and also off the pitch activities including our community work and projects. Jane is also the first team Captain and a qualified Level 1 FA Coach. Jane has played football all her life, for several teams – including Sheffield United Community Foundation, Meadowhead School and also had a spell at the Centre of Excellence. Jane has worked in the community sector for several years, utilising her BA in Sociology and MA in Politics with Research Methods, driven by the desire to help with creating a more inclusive, equal and fairer society, especially with historically disadvantaged and marginalised areas and groups. For Jane, AFC Unity is a merging of these two passions, playing and promoting women’s football and helping create an alternative football club that makes a difference in society through furthering social justice and creating positive female role models. She also plans and coaches the Solidarity Soccer initiative, channeling her enthusiasm for skill-sharing and confidence-building.
Jay Baker – Co-founder and Manager
Jay Baker has been managing non-profit organisations for nearly 15 years and is a Fellow of the School for Social Entrepreneurs, has a Level 2 Certificate in Managing Voluntary and Community Organisations, a Level 3 Award in Education and Training (QCF), and is Youth Work Skills Level 2 and FA Level 1 Coaching qualified. Born in Doncaster, he grew up supporting Doncaster Rovers Belles and Doncaster Rovers, where he became a director of the Viking Supporters Cooperative, and is passionate about football’s roots in its community. As Manager of AFC Unity, he not only oversees the club’s Business & Development Plan and project activities, but also the team and its strategies. He has devised the club’s Football Philosophy and, drawing on his experience in the community sector, pushed through a completely different approach to coaching befitting the alternative ethos of AFC Unity, whose incredible third place finish in Division Three in their first-ever season – and then consolidation in Division Two – exceeded the wildest expectations. A champion of the underdog, Jay’s commitment to feminism, fair play, community spirit and camaraderie cross over into his managerial approach and he has relished the challenge of building a club, and team, from the ground up.