Valley Gold spoke to Ruth Corry, Head of Business Operations at the academy, about what everyday life at Charlton entails. She also talked about how the sport has changed in terms of offering women more opportunities and what can be done to further improve equality.
Ruth Corry is a vital part of the academy overseeing all the ‘off the field’ operations from looking after player registrations, and team operations to the budget and the PGAAC audit process.
She explained her role: “Some days I can love this, but some days I hate it; that no day is the same. I can come in with a plan for the day and something last minute will happen, and you have to be quite reactive and think on your feet.
“I love the people here. I think that’s why I’ve stayed for so long. That’s probably been my favourite part throughout the last five and a half years. The staff and players are brilliant.”
Corry has been with the Charlton Academy since 2016 and, therefore, has also seen several players come up through the ranks.
She said: “I love seeing the players from when they come in at a young age into the academy, right the way through to when they make their debuts in the first team. That’s a special moment for all the staff.
“I feel like a proud mum a lot of the time, so that’s definitely one of my favourite parts of the job for me,” she added with a soft laugh.
Before joining Charlton, Corry spent four years at Arsenal and six years at Gillingham which gives her a unique, immersive perspective on football’s evolution regarding opportunities for women.
“I think the landscape has changed drastically for the better. There are a lot more opportunities for women in football now than when I started working in the game. But there can always be more work done in this area.
“I think reinforcing key messages around the benefit that women can bring into the game is obviously quite important.
“There’s no quick fix as to how more women can be given more opportunities, but as long as positions are recruited in an inclusive and equal way then more opportunities will come. There are a lot of talented women in the game with a lot to offer.”
Finally, she also shared her thoughts on Valley Gold and the support it provides for the academy.
“They’ve been vital for us, I know that, even prior to me joining the club, they were vital in keeping the academy running when the club was in financial trouble.
“Since I’ve been here, they have funded some amazing tournaments. An example that springs to mind straightaway is a tournament in Argentina. I can imagine the players and staff that travelled on that tour, that that trip will be an experience they’ll remember for the rest of their lives.
“An opportunity that probably wouldn’t have been available to them without that funding from Valley Gold.”
She continued: “They’ve been brilliant and really allowed us to enhance our program further. They take a real interest in the young players, the staff, and the academy.
“I couldn’t speak more highly of them to be honest.”
Valley Gold enables supporters to play a pivotal role in the future of Charlton Athletic by helping the club to unearth talented footballers through its youth system. Valley Gold is entirely supporter-funded, with membership costing £120 per year. As a member of Valley Gold, you will also have the opportunity to scoop up to £5,000 in regular cash prizes. To learn more about the scheme or to become a Valley Gold member, please click here.