We're delighted to announce the appointment of Sam Holmshaw as the new manager of our women’s team.
He will be joined by assistant manager Ethan Holmshaw, as well as coaches Carla Bool and Simon Holmshaw, who will make up the management team.
We are looking to take girls' and women’s football to the next level, with girls' football at the club having never been stronger.
There are more than 120 girls now playing from eight years up to sixteen years old with a group of coaches committed to developing them further.
We are now doing more than ever as our link with the Aire Wharfe Elite Football Centre demonstrates, providing a talent pathway for girls that's literally on their doorstep. In addition the club has this year launched a girls' sixth form football scholarship programme in partnership with St Mary’s School.
All this excellent work provides a clear player pathway to the women’s team, who currently play in the West Riding County Women's League First Division.
Sheffield-born, new manager Holmshaw 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.
Holmshaw has built up valuable experience coaching football for eight years, working in grassroot, amateur and academy settings. He is currently studying a master’s degree in Sports Coaching at Leeds Beckett University and runs ‘The Sports Coaching Podcast’, conversing with sports coaches all around the world.
Holmshaw's most recent role was managing the Old Centralians Women’s first team. Speaking of the experience the role has given him, he said;
“It was a really good experience. I learnt about the development from coaching kids, to then managing adults, which was more focused on the people management side. I feel this is one of my strengths."
He then added;
“This ambitious club (Town) is developing on and off the pitch. They have a clear purpose to drive well-being 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 Holmshaw to the club, saying:
“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.”
Holmshaw has been impressed with what he has seen so far and is clearly delighted to be appointed woman'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.”
Newly appointed Ikley Town coach and mentor Carla Bool expressed her excitement over the set up. She said:
“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 as assistant coach, where predominantly I look after the psychological and social development of the players. This for me is where my experience lies.”
“Yeah, the technical and tactical side of things 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.”
Exciting times lie ahead!