With the 2019/20 season marking their second season in the West Midlands Regional Women’s League, Port Vale Ladies will be looking to improve on how they fared last campaign, and they now have a new management duo in charge.
Ashley Thompson and David Wright have been appointed to oversee the development of the first team, and they will be looking to continue the progression of the club following its formation back in 2017.
The ladies won promotion from the Staffordshire County League in their first season, and despite finding the step up to the West Midlands Regional Women's League a challenge so far, it's one the new management staff are relishing.
Kyle Adams, Football Development Manager at the Port Vale Foundation Trust, played a part in the recruitment process and he is excited to see both Thompson and Wright thrive within their respective roles moving forward.
He said: “Ash and Dave have both been involved in women’s football for a good number of years now and have a good knowledge of the local game. Dave was involved a little last year so already has that relationship with some of the side, and the fact that he is also our Under 16’s manager means we have that important link into that pathway.
"We’ll be hoping that they can build on the last couple of years and they’ve set about bringing in new faces to improve the already committed squad that we have.”
The club’s girls and ladies section are progressing well with the introduction of three new teams this season, meaning as well as the first team there will be teams at Under 9, Under 11, Under 12, Under 13, Under 14 and Under 16 level.
On the growth of the female game at Vale, Adams added: “It’s fantastic to see so many girls representing the club as the game continues to grow. We put a plan in place a couple of years ago to create a pathway for girls at the youngest age right the way through to a successful ladies first team, and it’s pleasing that we are probably slightly ahead of where we envisaged we would be at this point.
"It’s important for both the club and community as a whole that we have a girls and ladies section that we can be proud of. I know it’s something that Carol and Kevin Shanahan are excited about moving forward and it’s reassuring to know how supportive they are.
"We’ve got some brilliant voluntary coaches on board who are at a level which we feel will develop the girls on both a football level and a personal level, but we are always looking for people to come in a work with our teams if they feel that they can contribute.”
Any coaches wishing to apply to help out with the girls and ladies teams or any players wishing to attend training for the Ladies First Team can contact Football Development Manager Kyle Adams (01782 757066 or firstname.lastname@example.org)