clash with Southampton as he is on a SECRET RAF mission.
McNamara – or rather, Corporal McNamara – is on a four-month overseas mission as
part of his role as an aircraft technician with the Royal Air Force. The timing means
he cannot be present at Stockport County’s Edgeley Park to see whether his Wolves
side can win promotion to the Championship.
Wolves and Southampton , the winners of the respective Northern and Southern
Premier divisions of the Women’s National League, will go head-to-head on Saturday
[3pm, BBC iPlayer] to decide which of them will be promoted, and the 35-year-old
Wolves manager will have to settle for watching the game remotely.
The National League’s part-time status means McNamara juggles his coaching time
with a role as an instructor at nearby RAF Cosford, having initially joined the RAF
after an injury ended his own playing ambitions. Speaking from a “top-secret”
location, McNamara said : “Anyone that knows me knows it’s hurting me,
these last two weeks, missing the County Cup final [which Wolves won, 4-1, against
West Brom on May 12] hurts, and Saturday will be no different.
“But the players are ready, the staff are ready. They’ve proved already that they don’t
need me – the culture runs itself, the environment we have. The girls are ready. As
much as it hurts me, it’s not about me anymore. I’m not Wolves Women. It’s those 23
McNamara first found out about his mandatory overseas posting in January but,
at that stage, still felt promotion was a dream and therefore he did not initially tell the
team he would miss the play-off final until later in the season.
“We’re very robust and resilient, as servicemen, and so I parked it to one side. Back in
January everyone still thought this was a dream, for us to be preparing for the play-
off on the 21st of May. As it got closer, as we tightened that grip on our title, I became
more emotive and the girls started to notice and I had to share it with them.
“The Air Force has given me so much over the years, I’m a proud serviceman, and that
will always be the case for the rest of my time in the military. [The timing] is
devastating, that’s the word that sums it up, but it’s my role at the minute and I do it
proudly until I’m back in the country.