Wolverhampton boss McNamara says it hurts to miss his team's Women's Championship play-off battle against Southampton
DANIEL MCNAMARA admits it will hurt to miss Wolves’ and Southampton’s clash for promotion to the second tier.
But the Wolverhampton Women’s chief and RAF corporal insists his high-fliers are ready for their pivotal duel.
Telegraph Sport reports McNamara, 35, who is an RAF aircraft technician, is currently away on a four-month overseas mission.
This means he will not be in his usual spot in the dugout when his team play Southampton at Stockport County’s Edgeley Park home at 3:00 pm on Saturday.
However, the Wolves boss who steered his side to last term’s National League Northern Premier Division title will be following his side from an undisclosed location.
The RAF corporal’s air force duties saw him miss his side’s 4-1 defeat of West Brom in the Birmingham County Cup final earlier this month.
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McNamara told the Telegraph: "Anyone that knows me knows it’s hurting me, these last two weeks, missing the County Cup final hurts, and Saturday will be no different.
"But the players are ready, the staff are ready.
"They’ve proved already that they don’t need me – the culture runs itself, the environment we have.
"The girls are ready. As much as it hurts me, it’s not about me anymore. I’m not Wolves Women. It’s those 23 girls."
Wolves’ play-off final against Marianne Spacey-Cale’s National League Southern Premier champions comes just over a month after the team celebrated their Northern League title win at Molineux.
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The club lifted the trophy in front of 2,477 fans following a 2-2 draw with Brighouse, the first match they played at the venue in 20 years.
Wolves and Southampton have been formidable opponents for their rivals in their respective divisions losing just one game each last season.
And McNamara, who found out about his overseas posting in January, admits he held off on sharing news with his players until later on last term.
The Wolves chief added: "Back in January everyone still thought this was a dream, for us to be preparing for the play-off on the 21st of May.
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“As it got closer, as we tightened that grip on our title, I became more emotive and the girls started to notice and I had to share it with them.
"The Air Force has given me so much over the years, I’m a proud serviceman, and that will always be the case for the rest of my time in the military.
“(The timing) is devastating, that’s the word that sums it up, but it’s my role at the minute and I do it proudly until I’m back in the country.”
And McNamara told BBC Sport: "Seeing the success the girls have had the last two weeks is really tough to watch because I want to be there, sharing those moments with them.
“That's why Saturday will be one of the most difficult days of my life.”
"The players have turned it into a positive. They know how much it means to me but they know they don't need me this weekend to have success."
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