Non-league defender Jemel Fox impressing as coach at AFC Sudbury Ladies

Jemel Fox

Jemel Fox - Credit: Archant

The race to win the Suffolk FA Women’s Cup is intensifying and one Ipswich-based coach is making waves at semi-finalists, AFC Sudbury.

Stanway Rovers defender Jemel Fox is a well-known figure around the Suffolk football scene, having played for AFC’s men’s team, as well as Leiston, Needham Market and Whitton United.

Fox, who is also a coach with Suffolk FA Ladies, said: “The team are going really well.

“We are in the semi-final of the County Cup and are third in the Eastern Region League.

“I have been there four years and it’s nice to see them getting a chance to impress and progress.

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“I would like to win promotion with the girls and win a few things.”

Fox’s Sudbury squad will face Bury Town in the semi-finals in March.

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Lowestoft Town will face either Ipswich Town Ladies or Ipswich Wanderers’ Ladies in the other semi-final

Fox, who also works as a PE teacher at Castle Hill Primary in Ipswich, is the nephew of former Norwich and Newcastle winger, Ruel

He has also worked under Hadleigh United coach Ian Brown, who recently backed the proposed introduction of the Rooney Rule.

If implemented, the rule would see one black or ethnic minority candidate be interviewed for every coach and manager’s role in the top five leagues of English football.

Fox would like to progress as far as he can: “I have been a coach for years and I would suggest I was the only young, black coach in the area, let alone Suffolk.

“You don’t see many at all and from my point of view it’s always been hard as a black person to get into certain sports as some roles have always been assumed to be for Caucasian males.

“I would love to go higher with my coaching and I have always set my goals as high as I can.

“I think the Rooney Rule would work and there needs to be more opportunities for black minority groups to get involved.

“I would love to be a role model to young children. My uncle was a role model, Ian (Brown) is, and I look up to others such as Frank Rijkaard and Paul Ince that have experience in management.”

Fox is clearly a big advocate for some kind of change, but thinks there may be more to it than simply black and ethnic minority figures not being given a chance.

“I live at Whitehouse which is quite a deprived area and there is not the money for people from black and ethnic minorities to get involved on such courses.

“There needs to be more communication at a local level, but from my perspective, I can’t think of many of my friends that have gone down the coaching route.”

He added: “In black and ethnic minorities, weekends always used to be about going to church, spending it with families, so maybe it’s a culture and lifestyle thing too.”

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