A Rochdale woman made history earlier this month after she became the first woman, from an Asian background, to officially qualify as an FA registered football agent.
Shehneela Ahmed broke the mould last week after English football’s governing body officially recognised her in the profession and she now hopes that her advances will open up the door for more Asian women to follow suit.
“At the time when I applied to become a Football Agent I wasn’t even aware that there weren’t any Asian females in the role,” she explained, adding she knew that there were ‘only few females registered with the FA’.
“It’s only after I completed the course that I became aware of the fact and to me personally, this is a big thing.
“It’s a golden opportunity for me to promote females from other ethnic backgrounds to do the same. People are becoming aware that the sports world is no longer just for men with more and more females now involved in the industry.”
Born into an Asian Muslim family, Ms Ahmed grew up in a working class area of Rochdale before heading to Staffordshire to study Law, going on to do a Legal practice Course at Guildford Law College.
Initially working as an independent solicitor, the law professional is currently employed by one of the largest criminal Firms in the South West, working as a Duty Solicitor Criminal Advocate.
Her first venture into the football industry is likely to pose previously unrecognized challenges yet for Shehneela; it is all part of the job.
“It’s a challenge for me and I am looking forward to this. To date I have been dealing with Hardcore Criminals so what can be so difficult when it comes to dealing with Footballers, Managers and Agents.”
The former Lancashire resident added that she has now set herself a number of personal goals, besides that of promoting the industry amongst women.
“I want to show the Asian Parents that the Sport Industry is not a bad profession for their children and they should encourage their child to enter it,” Ms Ahmed said.
“It is a respected profession just like being a Lawyer or a Doctor. It is important that they get over any stigma which has surrounded sport in the past.”