By Lloyd Webb
Kelly Smith says Pedro Martinez Losa is the perfect mentor.
The striker was named as Arsenal Ladies’ assistant manager last season after an ankle injury ruled her out for the majority of the campaign.
"He is a very good communicator and he likes to talk and liaise with his players just to check in with them"
Smith is fully focused on her playing role this season following Jose Elena’s appointment as Losa’s No 2, but says working with the manager was an “eye opening" education.
“I learnt from Pedro and his philosophy,” she told Arsenal.com. “I enjoyed being out on the pitch with him and doing training sessions. It’s different. You realise how many hours you put into it as a coaching member of staff.
“As a player you don’t worry about anything, you just turn up and you play football, and [you don’t realise] the preparation behind it. You’re in at 9am planning the session, liaising with the physio to see who you have fit and it is quite detailed.
“You probably don’t leave until about four or five o'clock after the debrief of the session. That was an eye opener. It was enjoyable and he is a good guy who wants to win. I have learnt so much from him and I’m looking to do the same this year.
"He is a very good communicator and he likes to talk and liaise with his players just to check in with them. You want that rapport with your coach as a player because you value that, like it or not, you take that on board and you respect him for that.”