Eastwood Athletic FC
Our seventh unsung football hero is Domenica Lo Pinto. Domenica, known as “footy mum” by her team, set up Eastwood Athletic in 2013 with the help of fellow unsung hero and partner Gianfranco Formosa. Domenica creates an atmosphere where her players enjoy themselves and value teamwork, regardless of the results. Her next project is to start the Pink Panthers- Eastwood Athletics’ first girls only team. Domenica juggles family life, studying for her social work degree, coaching and managing Eastwood Athletic, whilst managing her disability. Her determination and work ethic are inspirational. Well done Domenica!
Name: Domenica Lo Pinto
Club: Eastwood Athletic FC
Q: How did you get involved in coaching?
Domenica: I decided to set up Eastwood Athletic after I realised how many local kids wanted to play football and how oversubscribed some of the other local teams were. Once I had formed our own club I decided it would be worth the managers having a backup coach in case of illness and holidays. There was so much demand for more teams and so much interest from potential players that I decided to manage a few teams myself.
Q: What was your proudest moment with Eastwood Athletic?
Domenica: My proudest moment was at the beginning of the first season when I saw all the players from different age groups wearing our club colours and badge, which my youngest son designed. Seeing the kids in their kit suddenly made everything feel real. These children were now playing football.
Q: What has been your biggest personal achievement with the club?
Domenica: It would have to be managing our U9s and U21s team and being one of very few women standing on the side-lines. Often managers will head to shake hands with a male volunteer and are then surprised to be told that I’m the manager.
Q: What’s next for Eastwood Athletics?
Domenica: As we have grown much quicker than expected, and are still growing, our aim is to find a place to call home. Our dream would be to eventually have our own land and stadium and for all the players and parents to be a part of the club. We’re also planning to form a girls’ team called the Pink Panthers, so watch this space.
Q: Are you a Forest fan?
Domenica: I follow Forest for my boys and introduced them both to the club when they were young. When I was a young girl myself I watched them carry the European Cup on the bus around Nottingham. My father used to take me to matches and that inspired my love of football.