About Claire Smith

Coaching Experience

Claire has over 18 years experience of coaching soccer and working with young players. She began her coaching career after graduating with a BSC (Honors) Degree in Sport Science, coaching and Business Management.

In 1994, Claire was offered a trainer position at English Premier League club Middlesbrough. The role involved working with children between the age of 5-18, assisting in the creation of a player-development program starting as grass roots and advancing to the Middlesbrough Academy. Middlesbrough academy boasts many local players that have made it through the system to professional and international soccer including Stuart Downing (currently with Middlesbrough) David Wheater (currently with Bolton Wanderers) and Ben Gibson (currently with Middlesbrough). the initiative quickly became the FA flag ship of soccer education programs and was used as a model for many premier league clubs today.

Claire enjoyed rapid progression, becoming the Community scheme Soccer and Education manager from 2003-2007, overseeing over 30 trainers, before leaving to travel to the US in 2007.

Playing Experience

Middlesbrough Ladies Soccer Club signed Claire in 1993 as a squad player. She quickly established herself in the first team and captained the side for over 7 seasons. Claire retired from competitive soccer in 2004.

The club enjoyed huge success over the seasons winning numerous leagues, tournament and cup competitions. The most notable game was at Wembley Stadium against Chelsea ladies in 1996.
She also represented the regional and national universities teams during her time in college, enjoying huge success and numerous trophies. Articles listed below highlight a number of successes as a player and trainer.


  • UEFA B
  • BSC Hons Sport Science & Coaching
  • FA Level II coaching certificate
  • FA Level I coaching certificate
  • FA Junior Managers Award
  • FA Futsal Award
  • Certificate in Emergency Aid
  • USSC Licence

Read more about Claire’s background by clicking on one of the news articles below: