New Holwell Sports Women manager Tony Palmer is thinking big

Manager wants to expand women and girls sections...

By Duncan Browne
Wednesday, 19th May 2021, 6:10 pm
Tony Palmer. Photo: Chris Holloway.
Tony Palmer. Photo: Chris Holloway.

New Holwell Sports Women manager Tony Palmer has big plans for the club.

The experienced coach has taken on the role ahead of next season - and wants to make Sports the go-to club for women and girls in the area.

He has already held discussions with the Football Association about his expansion plans, which include creating a development squad and wildcats teams for girls aged five to 11.

“I want to make the club as big as it can be, a big club for women and girls in the area,” he told The Times.

“It’s a good area for girls’ football.

“We’re looking to get a reserve or development squad kicking off as soon as we can. And we want to establish wildcats teams.

“We want one of those up and running to help juniors.”

Palmer is a UEFA A licence qualified coach who has two decades of experience in the professional game with Nottingham Forest Women and Derby County Women, Central College, where he won the British Universities and Colleges Sport title, and the Notts County Academy.

But it was during his four years with Mansfield Town Ladies where he got to know about Holwell, then playing under the Leicester City banner.

“They’ve got some good players, mostly players from when they used to be Leicester City Ladies,” Palmer said of his squad. “We’ve got a good core of players and obviously I’ll try to attract some new talent into that squad.

“I know some players who are interested.

“I’ve met the players (from the current squad) and they’re on board with it.

“Most of those players will want to stay and we’re trying to get some competition to push them and keep them on their toes.”

Palmer - who is putting his backroom staff in place - has long been a target for the club.

He explained: “We used to be in the same league when I was at Mansfield for four years.

“One of the players at Holwell saw how I went about my business and has been trying to get me on board.

“I knocked it back last year - I work as a nurse and have been doing vaccinations. And I moved house, so I had a year out.

But they got in touch again and said they thought I was the right person to take the club forward again.

"I just went and had a look around. I can see what the men’s team are trying to do, expanding that. I got good vibes and it’s gone on from there.

“I can’t wait to get started.”