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28-Year-Old Becomes The First Female Head Coach To Lead A Pro Men’s Team In Continental Competition

When Chan Yuen-Ting was a child, she forged her mother’s signature and enrolled in a soccer youth leadership program. She signed the paperwork herself because she knew her parents wouldn’t be supportive of their girl’s desire to get so involved with sports.

That program was her springboard. She was eventually offered a statistical analysis position by the manager of Hong Kong Pegasus FC, and today, she’s the first woman to ever lead a professional men’s team in continental competition. The 28-year-old head coach of Hong Kong’s Eastern made history on Tuesday when she took her team to the AFC Champions League. They lost 1-0 to South Korea’s Suwon Bluewings, but put up a great fight.

Last year, Chan won coach of the year honors when she led Eastern to a league championship. For that accomplishment, she was named one of world’s 100 most influential women by the BBC.

“On the pitch I forget my gender as a woman. I just hope to show my abilities,” Chan told AFP last year. “I think no matter your age or your gender, what you need is hard work.”

Here’s more on the ground-breaking coach.

Real women don’t watch futbol. Real women coach futbol.

Kim Constantinesco

Kim Constantinesco

As the founder and editor-in-chief of Purpose2Play.com, Kim Constantinesco dives under the surface hype to illuminate heroes in the sports world. Whether talking with the first man with cerebral palsy to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro, or the first woman to mountain bike across Afghanistan, Kim has a keen interest in shining the spotlight on ordinary people doing extraordinary things. She believes it's time media starts placing a higher value on the people and communities who are actively doing something to make the world a little better. Previously, she covered the Denver Broncos and the NFL for seven seasons. Her work has been featured on NFL.com, CBS Sports, Fox Sports, The New York Times, and USA Today. She resides in Denver, CO. When not working, she can be found deep in the Rocky Mountains throwing backflips on her snowboard. Follow Kim on Twitter: @KimCon14
Kim Constantinesco

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