Doncaster Belles unveil Emma Coates, 25, as new boss

Emma Coates
Emma Coates

Emma Coates is the new manager of Doncaster Rovers Belles.

Coates steps up from her position as assistant coach to take over from Glen Harris, whose shock exit from the FAWSL1 club was confirmed last weekend.

Aged 25, she becomes one of the youngest ever managers in the history of the women’s professional game - and takes over with Belles bottom of the league and still searching for their first point of the new season.

She will be assisted by a group of coaching staff including Belles’ director of football Julie Chipchase and coaches Julie Grundy, Suey Smith, Sally Needham and Nick Dingwall.

Coates, who holds a UEFA B Licence, was previously head coach of Leeds United’s reserves and Centre of Excellence and has also worked in football at Leeds Beckett University where she graduated in 2012.

She joined Belles in 2014 and quickly became a popular member of the coaching team with the players.

Coates said: “I’m delighted to have been given the chance to take charge of a team with such a great history in the women’s game.

“The club have supported me throughout my development and I’m looking forward to leading the team forward.

“We now have to focus on developing some momentum for the second half of the season.”

Chairlady Faye Lygo said: “Emma has been a central figure in the coaching team at the Belles and is an obvious next choice for us.

“She is well liked and respected by all at the club.

“She has a proven record with developing individual players, bringing through younger players and incorporating modern techniques in football coaching, with a proactive and intelligent approach.

“We are delighted she has accepted this long term appointment to lead the club.”

York-born Coates will take charge of her first game on Sunday when Belles visit Notts County.