CORK City have announced that Jess Lawton will now manage the club’s women’s U17 team as well as their U19 team for the 2022 season.
Sarah Healy, who led the U17s to the league title in their maiden campaign in 2020 and then to the FAI Cup final in 2021, stepped away from her managerial role last November.
Lawton managed the U19s last year for their inaugural campaign in the Women’s National League and it has now been decided that she will move into this new dual position where she will oversee both underage sides at the club.
The Youghal native is also a coach with the City seniors and she will be looking to build on the success of recent years at U17 level, where they will be joined by Cobh Ramblers, while also continuing to develop young players from across Munster to promote to first-team football in the WNL.
“I am very pleased to be taking on the role with the U17s,” said Lawton.
“There has been some great work done at that level for the last number of years, and we want to now build on that.
“The addition of the U19 league has helped build a pathway to first-team football, so I look forward to working with the players and coaches of both teams in order to help them in their footballing journey.
Paul Farrell, manager of the women’s first team, commented: “This is a positive appointment for us and I know that Jess is someone who is passionate about coaching young players and bringing them through.
“With her overlooking both teams, I think we hope to have a solid and consistent basis on which to operate, while she also has strong links with the first team which will help us as we bid to promote players up through the age groups, hopefully, all the way to first-team level.”
Éanna Buckley, the club’s Chief Operating Officer, welcomed the development saying: “We are all very keen to build on the progress that has been made in recent years.
“Having Jess oversee both of the teams will assist in terms of player pathways and development.
“We want to see more of what we have seen in the last couple of years, namely players from Cork and around Munster developing within the club structures and progressing on to the first team.
“There are a lot of very talented players at underage level and we are committed to helping them in their development to try and help them go as far in the game as they can.”