We are delighted to announce the appointment of Thomas Elliott as our new women’s Olympic team manager ahead of the upcoming season.
The internal appointment comes after Elliott’s successful period within our girls’ academy set-up as U17 Head Coach, which saw his side win the South Belfast Youth League title and appear in two SBYL League Cup finals last season.
Most impressively, many of the U17 squad went on to make senior debuts for our Olympic side last season alongside their success at academy level, with several players featuring regularly in the Olympic starting team each week. With Elliott making the step up to our Olympic team, the club aims for this pathway to continue into the new season, with young players getting more experience of senior football.
Ahead of the new season, it has been confirmed that our Olympic team will remain part of the NIWFA league structure following the senior team’s promotion to the NIFL Women’s Premiership. Elliott will be joined by fellow academy coach John Braniff, who will also make the step up from our girls’ academy having been Head Coach of our U13 side last season.
Speaking on the appointment, first team Player Manager Amanda Morton said:
“Following Gary Hood stepping down from his role and Helen McKenna’s promotion to our first team coaching set-up, we felt it was important to ensure that our Olympic team was being overseen by someone with a wealth of experience, passion and desire for the role.
“Thomas had spent some time supporting our senior coaching team towards the end of last season, alongside a really successful period as Head Coach of our U17 academy side – many of whom we expect to feature for our Olympic side throughout the upcoming season.”
Director of Women’s Football William Noble added:
“As a club, we are on a journey which ultimately aims to have players from our academy set-up playing regularly at senior level for both the men’s and women’s first team. This is something which has become increasingly possible with the growth of our girls’ academy and has started to come to fruition last season with so many young players getting game time at Olympic level.
“It was a no-brainer to offer Thomas the role as it will allow us to continue that player pathway which we hope will further prepare our young players for the first team in the future. Supported by John, we are really confident that our Olympic side will be a positive environment for player development this coming season in the NIWFA league structure.”