Durham Women FC are delighted to confirm the appointment of three new members of coaching staff ahead of the 2021/22 FA Women’s Championship season.
The trio will work alongside the club’s existing management, medical and performance team to ensure our players continue to receive a first-class experience.
Julie Twaddle, Martin Herdman and Stephen Brass will all work with the side throughout the 2021/22 season, teaming-up with Nat Gutteridge (physiotherapist), Dougal Southward (club doctor), Simon Fairbairn (sports scientist) and Tom O’Neill (strength and conditioning coach) – under the guidance of the club’s management.
These new roles will be in addition to the club’s recently advertised vacancy.
Commenting on their appointments, Lee Sanders said: “It was always the intention to move to a full-time staffing model this season – and we’ve begun that process with the introductions of Julie, Martin and Stephen as well as Mark Donnelly in marketing and media.
“It’s quite exciting for myself on a personal level having those full-time staff and it gives us more time to prepare for the players coming in and more time to focus on looking at the opposition, ourselves and what we need to improve on.
“These appointments take the club to the next level, we already have some fantastic staff here – Simon and Tom from a coaching and performance aspect and Nat and Dougal from the medical side of things.
“Adding three new, full-time coaching staff will compliment the fantastic work that they produce each season.”
Here’s everything you need to know about the three newest members of the club’s coaching team:
JULIE TWADDLE (HEAD OF PERFORMANCE)
Twaddle has a strong reputation in the women’s game having worked with Sunderland and Manchester City in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League – helping the latter to domestic silverware during her time in the North West.
She has also worked with a number of other elite teams and individuals – including the English Women’s Rugby Union squad.
Now back in the North East, she will help in ensuring the club’s players remain in peak physical condition throughout a competitive FA Women’s Championship season.
After joining the club, Twaddle said: “I am really excited to be back involved with top level women’s football.
“Sport in the North East has always been incredibly important to me. It’s where I grew up playing and now I want the most talented girls and women in our region to have the opportunity to play at the highest level. I’m really excited to see what the future holds.
“There’s nowhere I’d rather be right now than with Durham Women. They have quality facilities and players and a management with a real desire to get to the top, I am ready to play my part in making that dream a reality.”
Sanders added: “Julie is actually a massive appointment for Durham. The knowledge and the experience, and the athletes that she’s worked with over a number of years, is a testament to how well thought of she is in the game.
“She’s an individual who I genuinely think will take us on to the next level of professionalism within the club and it’s been great to see her work first hand so far.”
MARTIN HERDMAN (LEAD FIRST-TEAM COACH)
Herdman is no stranger to Durham Women having previously coached within the club set-up.
He returns to the North East following a spell in Canada where he worked with Vancouver Whitecaps.
Speaking after his appointment, Herdman said: “It’s pretty amazing to be back.
“It’s great to meet Lee, all the staff and to see all the players and how the club has grown. I’m really happy to be here in Durham, it’s fantastic, and I’m ready to rock and roll for the season now.
“The education I got in Canada was fantastic and I come back with experience and I hope the club will get a huge benefit from that.”
Sanders added: “Having experienced working with Martin in the past, although he hasn’t got a great deal of experience in the senior women’s game, I’m really excited about how good a coach he is.
“I know he’ll bring something different and a new energy to the team and the players. I’m really looking forward to having him on board and working alongside him.”
STEPHEN BRASS (GOALKEEPING COACH)
Brass joins the club with a wealth of experience in the game, having recently worked with the Foundation of Light.
A UEFA B qualified goalkeeping coach, he will work closely with Megan Borthwick and the club’s other goalkeepers to ensure that Durham can build upon a defensive record that was the joint-best in the second tier last season.
Brass said: “I’m really excited to be given the opportunity to join such a fantastic club and coaching team.
“Hopefully I can play a part in helping us achieve our aim of gaining promotion this season in front of our fantastic fans.”
Sanders added: “Stephen has predominantly worked within the male game, but I’d seen his work first hand given he was previously based around the Durham area.
“He’s already had a hugely positive impact on the players, keepers and outfield, and the other staff at the club.
“As a club we’ve got a good history of goalkeepers and defensive records, and I’m confident Stephen – working alongside Helen Alderson, who will also be coming in to support the club’s senior goalkeepers as she works towards her own individual qualifications – can take that to the next level.”