- Lydia Bedford confirmed as new First Team Manager for LCFC Women
- Lydia is currently England Women’s Youth Team Head Coach for the FA
- Experienced coach Brent Hills appointed as Lydia’s Assistant Manager
- New management team to begin officially on 6 December
Lydia, currently England Women’s Youth Team Head Coach, joins the Foxes on a contract to the end of the 2021/22 season and will commence her role with LCFC Women on 6 December.
A student of the game who began her coaching journey in 2008 and earned her UEFA Pro Licence in 2019, Lydia has risen through the ranks of women’s football to become one of the most highly rated, progressive young coaches in the game.
As lead coach for England Under-17s with oversight of coaching throughout the FA’s international development pathway, Lydia’s role at the FA has exposed her to a range of experiences, working with some of the country’s most highly regarded talent and building an in-depth knowledge of the WSL player landscape. At club level, she has coached in the FA Women’s Championship with London Bees and Tottenham Hotspur.
Lydia will be supported in her role by the vastly experienced Brent Hills, who takes up the role of Assistant Manager. Brent’s 42-year career in coaching and football development includes a 15-year spell working for the Football Association, 11 of which as England Senior Women’s Assistant Head Coach.
Leicester City Chief Executive Susan Whelan said: “Lydia is one of the rising stars of the women’s game, whose technical coaching credentials are complemented by an incredible passion for and knowledge of women’s football that can have an immediate impact on our squad.
“While addressing the form of the team on the pitch is clearly the immediate priority, I’m excited to see the impact of Lydia’s and Brent’s experiences on our entire women’s football operation, which continues to mature at speed in its second season since turning professional. We want to enhance the development of the women’s game throughout Leicestershire and having a management team with lived experience of how standards can be elevated through the development of talent pathways will be invaluable to that process.
“We’re grateful to the FA for allowing us to give Lydia this opportunity and look forward to her officially starting work in early December.”
Lydia Bedford said: “Leicester City’s vision for women’s football and the extent of its ambition have been obvious during the last two seasons, so I’m unbelievably excited to have the chance to be part of that. Taking the step into a senior coaching role is something I’ve always wanted to do.
“I’m delighted that Brent has agreed to join our coaching staff. His experiences in the women’s game are unrivalled and he will bring invaluable support both to the training pitch and to our strategic planning.
“The infrastructure of personnel and facilities that have been put in place since women’s football turned professional in Leicester tells you everything you need to know about where the Club wants to go. A lot of progress has been made to this point and we’ll be working together to make sure that progress continues.
“Finally, I would like to place on record my thanks to the FA for the opportunities and experiences they have provided me over the past seven years and for supporting my decision to step into the domestic game. I can’t wait to get to work with the players, staff and everyone at the Club.”
Lydia’s appointment follows a period of rapid progression for LCFC Women, who turned professional following an acquisition by King Power in August 2020 and earned promotion to the FA Women’s Super League for the first time at the end of the 2020/21 season.
Football Operations for LCFC Women moved to the Club’s historic Belvoir Drive Training Centre at the start of 2021, with the team currently the only women’s side in the country with their own dedicated elite facility.
Ahead of the start of the 2021/22 season – the Club’s first in the WSL – King Power Stadium was confirmed as the venue for the majority of the team’s home games, while a new Academy Pathway was unveiled to support the development of elite young female talent in the county.
Lydia and Brent will begin their roles with LCFC Women officially on 6 December. Head of Women’s Football Development Emile Heskey will continue to oversee training and preparation for the Continental Cup tie against Manchester United on 5 December.
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