Ilkley Town appoint new manager for women’s team

Following the departure of Sam Holmshaw, Ilkley Town have appointed Claire Armstrong as the manager of the women’s team. Claire will be supported by Emily Reader-Harris who will become assistant manager.

Claire has been managing the Ilkley Town u17 girls’ team and Emily is one of the current players in the current squad. They know the players well and will provide continuity to the team. Claire is also married to men’s first team manager Simon Armstrong which makes a unique partnership.

Club Chairman, Richard Giles said

“I am delighted that Claire has accepted this role and we have been able to promote from within the club. Claire knows many of the players who have come up through the u17 and are now playing in the women’s team. I am also really pleased that Emily has joined Claire and will start her journey into coaching with the club. It’s the ideal combination for the club.
I would also like to thank Sam for the work he did on behalf of the club rebuilding the team after the manager left last year.”

The club has a thriving girls section with 120 players. The club also runs a sixth form scholarship program for girls in partnership with St Mary’s school in Menston. There are a number of talented players in the u16 and u17 teams who will be looking to make the step up into the women’s team.

Claire got off to a great start with a 9-0 victory on Sunday against Bradford side Tyresal. After a whirlwind of a week Claire said

“It’s a very exciting time and I’m delighted to be taking on this new role. Girls’ and Women’s’ football is constantly gaining momentum. The talent level across all age groups at Ilkley is increasing and this group of Ladies has a lot of potential, with a good mix of both younger and more experienced players. It’s fabulous that as soon as the players in younger age groups turn 16 they have an opportunity to be carefully integrated into the Senior section while continuing with their Saturday age group football."

The future is looking bright for girls and women’s football on Ilkley.