Sheffield FC has made two new appointments for its women’s development team ahead of the new 2020/21 season.
Tom Cooke takes on the role of development team manager, ahead of the new FA Women’s National League season. The development team will compete in the Reserves Northern Division alongside opposition of the likes of Huddersfield Town, Middlesbrough and Leeds United.
No stranger to the World’s First Football Club, Cooke was assistant manager for the men’s U19s last season, helping guide Sheffield FC to the third round qualifying of the FA Youth Cup where they lost out 3-2 to Wrexham FC.
Passionate about developing players, seven of Cooke’s U19s squad made the step up to the men’s first team last season, a number of which have secured a permanent place in the squad for the coming campaign.
Cooke, 31, was about to commence his UEFA ‘B’ coaching licence course before lockdown forced the FA to put all courses on hold.
Andrea Parkinson joins Cooke as Assistant Manager of the development team.
Parkinson works as a Senior Education and Well-Being Officer for Chesterfield FC, a post she has occupied for the past seven years. She has been coaching in the female game for the past six years.
Currently on her UEFA ‘B’ Coaching Licence, Parkinson is excited to work with the group as it prepares for its second season back in the FA WNL.
The management duo have already had a positive start to their tenure, seeing the development team register a win and a draw in their first two pre-season friendlies.
“We’ve had about a month with the squad now,” Cooke said. “We’ve been looking at different ways of playing, and really just getting to know each other as a squad.”
“Our aim is to push as many players up to the first team as possible, whilst maintaining a strong squad to challenge in the league.”
“We’re both excited to get going and start to see the player’s progress and develop. We’ve a good young squad, many of whom were with the team last season, so we’re hoping we can build on that experience and keep pushing forward as a group.”
The development team’s season kicks off this coming Sunday 20 September with the visit of Stockport County Development.