Dr Francesca Champ

Sport and Exercise Sciences

Dr Francesca Champ is a Lecturer in Psychology of Football and teaches across the undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes within the School of Sport & Exercise Sciences. Francesca is the module leader for Current issues in Science and Football, and returns to Liverpool John Moores University after having completed her undergraduate degree in Sport and Exercise Science, postgraduate degree in Sport Psychology and doctoral degree on the psychological development of elite youth footballers at the university.

Francesca's main research interests are psycho-social development and identity in professional football, organisational and cultural sport psychology, applied sport psychology consultancy and mental health in sport.

Francesca is a BASES accredited Sport and Exercise Scientist (Psychology) who currently works with elite athletes across a variety of sports to facilitate performance. Through her research and applied consultancy within professional football, Francesca has attained a number of international awards including the 2016 Aspetar 'Excellence in Football Research' award at the European Congress of Sports Science; the 2016 Human Kinetics 'Best Student Free Communication Presentation' award at the British Association for Sport and Exercise Sciences Annual Conference; and the 2017 Routledge 'Early Career Researcher' award by the Football Collective.

Francesca is currently working with stakeholders nationally and internationally to explore mental health in professional sport, and is part of a supervisory team working on a project to explore the mental health of professional female footballers in the Women's Super League (WSL).




Liverpool John Moores University, United Kingdom, PhD
Liverpool John Moores University, United Kingdom, MSc Sport Psychology
Liverpool John Moores University, United Kingdom, BSc (Hons)

Academic appointments

Lecture in Psychology of Football, Liverpool John Moores University, 2020 - present
Lecturer in Sport Psychology, Manchester Metropolitan University, 2019 - 2020
Lecturer in Sport & Exercise Psychology, University of Central Lancashire, 2017 - 2019

Journal article

Perry C, Chauntry AJ, Champ FM. 2022. Elite Female Footballers in England: An Exploration of Mental Ill-Health and Help-Seeking Intentions'. Science & medicine in football, DOI Author Url

Martin AM, Champ F, Franklin Z. 2021. COVID-19: Assessing the impact of lockdown on recreational athletes PSYCHOLOGY OF SPORT AND EXERCISE, 56 DOI Author Url

Perry C, Champ FM, Spandler H, Macbeth J. 2021. Mental Health and Elite Female Athletes: A Scoping Review Psychology of Sport and Exercise, DOI Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Champ F, Ronkainen N, Tod D, Eubank A, Littlewood M. 2020. A tale of three seasons: a cultural sport psychology and gender performativity approach to practitioner identity and development in professional football QUALITATIVE RESEARCH IN SPORT EXERCISE AND HEALTH, 13 :847-863 DOI Author Url

Champ FM, Nesti MS, Ronkainen NJ, Tod DA, Littlewood MA. 2020. An Exploration of the Experiences of Elite Youth Footballers: The Impact of Organizational Culture Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 32 :146-167 DOI Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Champ FM, Ronkainen NJ, Littlewood MA, Eubank M. 2020. Supporting Identity Development in Talented Youth Athletes: Insights from Existential and Cultural Psychological Approaches Journal of Sport Psychology in Action, 11 :219-232 DOI

Champ F, Ronkainen NJ, Nesti MS, Tod D, Littlewood MA. 2019. ‘Through the lens of ethnography’: Perceptions, challenges, and experiences of an early career practitioner-researcher in professional football Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health, DOI Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Research Grants Awarded:

UK Coaching, Care for coaches, Colum Cronin, Amy Whitehead, David Tod, Tabo Huntley, Colin Lewis, Grant value (£): 15,ooo, Duration of research project: 6 months. 2022

British Universities and Colleges Sport, Monitor and Evaluate FA Women's Leadership Programme, Allistair McRobert, Kristin MInister, Grant value (£): 3,500, Duration of research project: 8 months. 2022

Liverpool Football Club Women's, Senior Performance Psychologist (consultancy contract), Zoe Knowles, Grant value (£): 20,000, Duration of research project: 8 months. 2021

Liverpool Football Club Women's, Senior Performance Psychologist (consultancy contract), Zoe Knowles, Grant value (£): 20,000, Duration of research project: 8 months. 2020

BUCS, Design a Monitoring and Evaluation System for the FA Universities Women's Leadership Programme, Allistair McRobert, Rebecca Murphy, Grant value (£): £2,000, Duration of research project: 10. 2020

Conference presentation:

Mental health and wellbeing in professional women's football (Keynote), Flourishing in and Beyond Sport, Amsterdam (online), Oral presentation. 2022

Career Transitions in Professional Football, Wellcome Trust funded Event, University of Strathclyde, Oral presentation. 2019

Development & Performance: Integrating Psychology from Academy to First Team, Psychology in Football, Liverpool John Moores University, Oral presentation. 2019

Personal, ethical and cultural dilemmas associated with practitioner-research, Ethnography Symposium, Copenhagen, Oral presentation. 2019

Developing Elite Youth Footballers: A Psychosocial Approach, Invited Speaker, University of Central Florida, Oral presentation. 2018

Psychological Development in Professional Youth Football: An Ethnography of Sport Psychology Practice, Football Collective, Manchester, Oral presentation. 2016

Reflections from a Female Sport Psychology Practitioner Working in Elite Level Professional Football: Practitioner Identity and Development., European Congress of Sports Science (ECSS) Annual Conference, Vienna, Oral presentation. 2016

Challenges of Confidentiality in Elite Level Professional Football, BASES Annual Conference, Nottingham, UK, Oral presentation. 2015

Other Professional Activity:

1st Team Performance Psychologist, Liverpool Football Club Women's. 2021

Membership of professional bodies:

Ambassador, Football Exchange Women's Network. 2021

Fellowship, Higher Education Academy. 2019

Accredited Sport & Exercise Scientist, British Association of Sport & Exercise Sciences. 2017

Media Coverage:

AXA Health and Wellbeing Series. Available on LFCTV and AXA Social Platforms. 2021

https://www.liverpoolfc.com/news/women/419029-lfc-women-strengthens-technical-medical-and-sports-psychology-staff, Online article. Liverpool Football Club Women's.

Other invited event:

Flourishing in and beyond the game, Amsterdam, Design, Implementation and Delivery of a Mental Health Strategy in Professional Women's Football. 2021

Editorial boards:

Managing Sport and Leisure Journal, Editor. 2020


Routledge Early Career Researcher Award, Football Collective. 2016

Human Kinetics Student Free Communication Presentation Award,, British Association of Sport & Exercise Sciences Annual Conference. 2016

‘Excellence in Football Research Award’, Aspetar, European Congress of Sports Science. 2016