A FOOTBALL coach from Bromsgrove is targeting promotion to the Women’s Super League after taking over the reigns of first team manager at Nottingham Forest Ladies.
Playing their trade in the Women’s Premier League, Forest announced former Coventry City Ladies boss Craig Nicholls as their new manager last week.
Nicholls secured the WPL Southern Division title in 2014 with the Sky Blues as well as winning the Birmingham County Cup in successive seasons before departing in 2015.
He also managed West Midlands Police Ladies and Bristol Academy Ladies prior to joining the Sky Blues.
Nicholls met up with the Forest players and coaching staff on Sunday after the club’s final game of the season and he told the Standard promotion is his main target.
“The main idea for me is to get Forest into the Women’s Super League – the big league,” he said.
“Winning the WPL next season is the focus as it’s massively important but I will also be trying to bring in the younger players into the first team – it’s important to develop the youngsters.
“Having experience of winning the league will put me in good stead as I know how to get a team over the winning line.
“You have to focus in every game and the challenge of managing Forest will be a fantastic experience.”
Away from his footballing duties, Nicholls runs a coaching company based at St Andrews First School in Barnt Green.
Total Football Coaching School, which was set up in 2002 by Nicholls and his father Brian, deliver specialist coaching sessions to schools up and down the country.
Nicholls’ first experience of coaching women’s football came when he was studying at Cumberland University in Nashville, USA, and following his graduation, he and Brian decided to set up their own company.
“The women’s scene in America is huge and after I gained my coaching qualifications at university, me and my dad sat down together and thought we could put a company together,” Nicholls said.
“My dad has done some coaching before and we thought let’s just give it a go and it’s been a huge success.
“It’s fantastic to provide classes to girls and to be able to coach women’s football.
“More than 32,000 people watched this year’s Women’s FA Cup final so that shows how much the sport is growing.
“We’re getting between 50 and 60 girls attend our classes and it’s great to see the difference we are making to their lives.”
For more information about Total Football Coaching School, call Nicholls on 07973 689953 or Brian on 07971 899134.
Details on the classes can also be found at the reception desk at St Andrews First School.