Female Football Club Founder - Lisa Hayhoe



NAME: Lisa Hayhoe

AGE: 32

INSTAGRAM HANDLE: @onyxfc_ / @lisa_dubai6

JOB TITLE: Co-Founder and Lead Coach, Onyx FC

MOVED TO THE UAE IN: August 2016



Lisa has played football since she was 5 years old and always strived to provide a pathway for girls and women in football. Her first experience of playing for an all-girls’ team, was when she was selected for Arsenal Girls’ Centre of Excellence at the age of 10. This opened her eyes to the provision and pathways the English FA was creating for girls’ football in the UK. Having had this experience first-hand, she wanted to provide the same opportunities to women and girls in football.


Being the first female owned football club in the UAE is a tremendous achievement for all Co-Founders, they pride themselves in being at the forefront of empowering aspiring female footballers to learn and develop. Seeing the club grow from strength to strength and the enjoyment on the players’ faces, has made Lisa realise the positive impact of starting a women’s only club. The club has girls and women of all abilities, from absolute beginners to professionals.


Lisa truly believe participating within a team sport can improve the wellbeing and mental health of a person. Participating within 30 minutes of exercise daily can improve our overall health and most importantly increase our self-confidence. Thus, empowering all women to be ready for the day ahead!


Onyx FC provides a welcoming atmosphere for all women within the UAE, encouraging a range of abilities to sign up and participate.


What does her day look like..


7:30AM: By this time, I have already had a healthy breakfast consisting of yoghurt, fruit and a herbal tea, preparing me for the day ahead. Breakfast is a fundamental part of the day for me to ensure my body is replenished and ready for exercise. Eating two hours before exercise, allows your body to absorb the nutrients it needs for your workout.


9AM: The 11-a-side team and I are arriving at the stadium to prepare for our match. All players arrive by 9:15am, where the tactics, team sheets are shared and the warm up is completed before kick-off. During this time I will ensure my body is hydrated with water and electrolytes before playing along with eating a banana to increase my potassium levels. I find this truly benefits my performance levels.


11AM: Half time – Team talk is given to the players. Individual feedback is provided to players, along with a whole team analysis. Tactics are altered if necessary to ensure we play competitively against the other team. Hydration is key at this point after completing 45 minutes of exercise outside in the sun.


12NOON: Game has finished – Match analysis and reflection on individual player performance has begun. Detailed match analysis is completed and players are provided with an overview of their performance. Cooling down is paramount, to ensure we minimise the build-up of lactic acid and are ready for training on Monday evening.


2PM: Arrive home after the game – eat lunch that is high in protein and carbohydrates to replenish the energy used within the 11 aside match. Rest and recuperate for coaching the 7-a-side team later in the evening.


4PM: During this time, I plan the sessions for the girls’ academy for the week ahead. We structure each session to challenge the girls to be the best of their ability, while also having fun in a safe space. This time is useful for planning the sessions across all age groups and to ensure we are developing the girls in the programme from the previous week.


6PM: Arrive at the venue for the 7-a-side game. Ensure equipment is set up for the warm up. Players to arrive in their kit and be prepared to warm up at 7:10PM. Lead a cardiovascular warm up focusing on dynamic stretching and provide the team with the starting line-up. Tactics are shared before kick-off and players know their roles and responsibilities on the pitch.


8PM: Half time – Players are given individual feedback and substitutions have been made throughout the first half. Players provide their own personal feedback from being on the pitch to me and we work together to obtain a positive outcome.


10PM: Home – After a day being outside, I have ensured to keep hydrated, especially with electrolytes and fresh juices. Getting into bed at now provides my body with a minimum of 7 hours of sleep, providing my body with the rest, recharge and recuperation for the day ahead.