New manager for Ilkley Town AFC women’s team


Sam Holmshaw new first team manager of Ilkley Town Women’s team

Ilkley Town AFC are delighted to announce the appointment of Sam Holmshaw as new first team manager of Ilkley Town Women’s team.


Sam will be Joined by Assistant manager Ethan Holmshaw, as well as Assistant Coaches Carla Bool and Simon Holmshaw, making up the management team. The ambitious club are looking to develop girls and women’s football to the next level.


Girls football at Ilkley has never been stronger. There are more than 120 girls playing for Ilkley Town from 8 years old up to 16 years old. There are a group of coaches committed to developing girls’ football. The AW Elite development centre provides extra training on Tuesday evenings for girls that want to develop further. The club has this year launched a girls sixth form football scholarship program in partnership with St Mary’s School. This provides an excellent pathway for the women’s team who currently play in the West Yorkshire first division.


Sheffield born, Sam will take the women’s team on to the next step in their journey. He will work with the club in supporting girls moving from the junior to senior ranks. Sam has built up valuable experience coaching football for 8 years, working at grassroot, amateur and academy settings. Sam is currently studying a master’s degree in Sports Coaching at Leeds Beckett university and currently runs ‘The Sports Coaching Podcast’ conversing with sports coaches all around the world.


Sam’s most recent role was managing the Old Centralians Women’s first team. Sam has spoken of the experience the role has given him:


“It was a really good experience. I learnt about the development from coaching kids, to then managing adults which was then more focussed on the people management side. I feel this is one of my strengths.


"The ambitious club is developing on and off the pitch. They have a clear purpose to drive wellbeing and to be at the heart of Ilkley and the local community. They have a playing philosophy based on possession football and that runs all the way through the club."


Chairman Richard Giles welcomed Sam to the club:


“Sam is a great fit for the club. He has good coaching qualifications and experience. He is hungry to learn as well. I have no doubt he will be a great asset for the club”


Sam has been impressed with what he has seen from Ilkley Town and is over the moon to be appointed Ilkley Town Women’s first team manager,


‘It is a huge privilege for me to be the manager of Ilkley Town Women’s first team. I am looking forward to an exciting future with both the team and this club! Ilkley Town are a fabulous club. They have great facilities and a wonderful set up. The pathway from u8 girls all the way through to the women’s team and the scholarship at St Mary’s school are really impressive. It’s clearly a club that is going places.”


Sam will be joined by his brother Ethan Holmshaw as Assistant Manager, Carla Bool as Coach and Simon Holmshaw as assistant coach and mentor.


Carla expressed her excitement in the set up:


‘I am very excited to be a part of this club and the women’s first team! My role within the first-team set-up is assistant coach, where predominately I look after psychological and social development of the players. This for me is where my experience lies!’


Carla added, ‘Yeah, the technical and tactical is important! Really important, but if we don't develop the psychological and social skills too, we are not giving players the best chance to develop and reach their full potential’.


The women’s’ team will be restarting training on Sunday 20 December. This is an open session at 2pm on the 4G pitch at Ben Rhydding. Sam is looking to build a strong squad and is looking out for new players. Any female player aged 16 or over interesting in joining the club would be welcome to the training session. They can contact Sam on 07842 532102.

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