Despite a 14- year long career in the Bundesliga and Woman’s Super League (WSL), Marisa Ewers is doing everything she can to gain an education in sport alongside her success on the pitch.

Currently studying the MSc in Sports Directorship at VSI, while playing as central midfielder for Aston Villa, Ewers encourages athletes to get involved in their sport behind the scenes.

She says “I think its brilliant that you can play and you can still work, and it’s obviously good to do a part-time course where you can meet up with people in Manchester and undertake challenges there. You can go back to your environment and try to implement what you’ve learnt so far and can use your networking and contacts to grow. I think it’s great if you still play and you care about the transition, that you do as much as you can alongside football and your playing career and I think that will help me massively when I want to stop playing football."

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The VSI delegate outlined how the programme will benefit her, both on the pitch and when she retires from playing the sport. She says that “the analysis side also helps me as a player because I am leading opposition analysis, and then obviously if I’m studying opposition it helps me to be a good leader and player on the pitch, so it works both sides really.”

She adds: “At Aston Villa every player has to study maybe one individual player, but I’ve done the whole team and identified their weaknesses and strengths and ways to exploit them really and that should help me to implement this on the pitch and give that on to other players."

Villa, who were promoted to the WSL for the first time this season, encourage their players to participate in the sport off the pitch. Ewers works with the club’s operations and analysis team, and says: “To make the transition easier I think it’s brilliant that clubs such as Bayer Leverkusen, Man City, or Birmingham City, or Aston Villa now, support that side, especially in women’s football, because we have to have an eye on our education, because you never know when football’s over.

"I’ve always wanted to better myself alongside football and I’d say that to every girl that wants to start playing professional football, do something alongside your career because it just helps you get through life, especially after football, it makes it much easier.”