We are delighted to welcome coaches Sophie Bartup and Hayley Butts to our Grimsby Town Women’s team.
Sophie, who is an experienced player, will take up the role of player-coach. Both Sophie and Hayley have strong connections with the area and with the Football Club.
Sophie has a great background in football. She is an FA Certified Level 2 Coach and has completed the FA Youth Award. She also wants to progress even further on the coaching pathway.
Speaking of Sophie’s arrival, manager Dale Houlston said: “I look forward to supporting her as a coach. I have an awesome amount of respect for the work she has done in the game.
“She won awards when she was a University Football Activator, and after she completed her degree, she became a Football Development Officer for Lincolnshire County FA. As a player she has done really well too, having played for Hykeham Town Ladies in the East Midlands Women's Football League, which is a step higher than what we are starting at. So in addition to her coaching role, she will make a big contribution on the pitch too.
Speaking of Hayley’s appointment, Dale added: “Hayley is well known in football circles in the area and most recently was working as a coach at Cleethorpes Town. I first met Hayley when we both attended an FA coaching course together, and we have stayed in touch with each other since then.
“She has history both with the club and the area as a player and brings along a lot of experience in the women's game. Her appetite to be successful is fantastic and I am delighted to have her on board. Hayley is also an FA Level 2 certified coach, and she has recently been accepted by the FA to commence the UEFA B Licence course in August.”
And Dale is delighted to get the duo onboard.
“I am over the moon that both Sophie and Hayley have agreed to join us, he said. "When I accepted the job as manager it was really important to me that I was able to put together a good coaching team. I wanted experienced people, but more importantly, I wanted good people that will work really hard to make this project a success. I know I have got this in Sophie and Hayley. It was also important to me that we appointed females in these key roles. When the club decided to embrace the Women's game, it wasn't just about providing playing opportunities, it was also about encouraging the development of female coaches in the game too.”
And Sophie is delighted to be given the chance to move into coaching. Speaking to gtfc.co.uk, she said: “Really, really chuffed to be involved with Grimsby Town. Hugely delighted that I got invited to Blundell Park to meet with the manager, Dale Houlston.
“Whilst I’m still committed to being a player, the next step for me is to progress with my coaching pathway, where better to start than Grimsby Town Football Club.”
And Hayley is pleased to get the chance to progress her coaching career. Hayley said: “I’m looking forward to taking the next steps in coaching, going onto do my UEFA B.
"My philosophy is to make sure that they are going to enjoy playing for our club, to have professionalism, and to have a goal that we can potentially push these girls to. But is also about development, making sure that these players can achieve their best, at the highest level that they possibly can.”
Our follow-up trials (invitation only), will take place this Saturday.