Matt Wright is back as manager of Chichester City Ladies for their assault on a new higher league following the shock resignation of Liam Greenfield.
The boss who led City to the FA Women’s Premier League dibision one south and west title last season has told the club he cannot commit to the role now the team are competing in the league’s Southern Premier division – one division below the Super League.
That’s led to Wright, who managed the team before handing over the reins to Greenfield two years ago, taking the job back on.
Wright, who has remained heavily involved with the club as chairman in the intervening years, said: “Liam leaving the club is a great loss but I am excited and confident about being back in the dugout and looking forward to the challenges the new league brings.”
His move sees another club stalwart, Caz Henry-Evans, take over as chairman.
Greenfield has told City he is leaving for ‘business and personal reasons’. He broke the news to the players at a training session last week and said it was a very difficult decision.
Liam leaving the club is a great loss but I am excited and confident about being back in the dugout and looking forward to the challenges the new league brings.Matt Wright
Henry-Evans said Wright was the ideal person to take over from Greenfield because he knew the club inside out and knew the players he was taking on.
Wright revealed the squad was in good shape ahead of the league opener away to Basildon on Sunday, August 20, which is followed by the opening home game against Crystal Palace a week later.
He said: “All but two of last year’s squad have signed with the exception of two, and I have added ex-Super League player Hollie Wride and ex-Pompey player Tiff Taylor to an already-strong team.”
The move up to the Southern Premier gives Chi plenty of big games to look forward to.
Pompey are among their opponents and visit Oaklands Park on October 11m, while West Ham are due in the city on September 17.
So, what a pre-season so far, writes Chi City Ladies’ new chairman Caz Henry-Evans.
There have been a few changes at the club with manager Liam Greenfield stepping down.
As a board we have agreed the best person for the job is previous manager and chairman Matt Wright.
This means his chairman’s role has now been given to me, the secretary .
I will perform both roles for the club so Matt can concentrate on football.
In terms of football, we have lost two players to Pompey Ladies in Molly Clark and old captain Becky Barron.
That’s because of the offer of funds which we are as yet unable to compete with.
These are the only players we have lost and have kept the rest of last season’s squad in tact
We have however boosted our squad with the additions of WSL side Watford’s Hollie Wride.
She was previously with us at Oaklands Park and has returned.
Tiff Taylor, Ellis Bloomfield, who both previously played for Pompey, and Gemma Simmonds from Southampton Women have also joined.
All of these are great additions to the squad who will have a great impact for the new season.
In terms of friendlies we only have a few in place.
We have played Southampton Women already, winning 5-0 with goals from Jess Lewry (two), Cherelle Khassal, Charley Wilson-Blakely and Loulou Robson.
In terms of the new season, we are looking forward to the challenge of the Women’s Southern Premier League and hope to push as many teams as possible as far as we can.
We think we can pick up plenty of points along the way in order to secure safety and where possible we would like a mid-table finish, especially with the disruption to pre-season.
The ladies are buzzing for the new season and want to go as far and as high as they can.
We are working hard behind the scenes as always and will continue to do so to try and improve our rise behind the scenes.
As ever, we hope plenty of local football fans will come and watch us and support the club in any way that they can.
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