Three coaches with a wealth of experience working with youth teams, have been given the chance to take the reins at one of Scotland's leading female football clubs.
Hibernian Girls & Ladies FC have announced the appointment of Chris Roberts as First Team Coach following the resignation of Willie Kirk last month. Roberts steps up as First Team Coach of Hibernian Ladies after serving as Assistant Coach to Kirk for the last four years. During Roberts' time as Assistant Coach with Hibs Ladies he helped the team to League Cup success along with 3 other cup final appearances, and has seen them finish as a league runners-up last year.
Roberts contributes a wealth of experience to the Club with coaching stints at Boroughmuir Thistle FC, for the Scotland U19 Women, and with the Scotland U14 regional performance squad. He has coached with Scotland Universities and is currently a Scottish FA Development Officer in Edinburgh.
He is eager to move into the Lead Coach position and see the Hibs Ladies through to a successful season.
“It's an honour to continue my work at such a fantastic club. My role has changed slightly but the target remains the same: to be the best in Scotland and keep pace with the game across Europe. Hibernian ladies are very ambitious, and I am ambitious too. The Club has a rich history in the Scottish game and a lot of potential. I’m pleased to be part of the team that will work to release that potential.”
Rounding out the new management team are the appointments of Claire Ditchburn as First Team Assistant Coach and Alfie Smith as Club Coach Coordinator.
Ditchburn has experience as player – having left the Hutchison Vale side to take up the post as Assistant Coach with the Hibernian Ladies – and as coach with experience at Sunderland FC, City of Edinburgh Council and the Scotland U16 regional performance squad.
Smith has six and a half years with the Hibernian Girls & Ladies FC coaching the 15s, 17s and Ladies Development Squad.
Next home fixture for Hibernian Ladies is on Sunday, 17 August, 14.00, at Albyn Park in Broxburn where they will take on Aberdeen Reserves.
Chris Roberts Biography:
Chris currently holds a UEFA B licence and recently undertook his UEFA A licence Introductory. Previously he formed part of the coaching team at Boroughmuir Thistle FC along with current Scotland U15s coach Pauline MacDonald, who together gained the team promotion to the SWPL and successfully kept the club in the top tier for 3 seasons. During his time at Boroughmuir, Chris also assisted ex-Scotland and Hibs captain Shelley Kerr with Scotland U19s Women and coached with Scotland Universities. In addition to his work with Hibernian Ladies, Chris is a Scottish FA Development Officer in Edinburgh where his main duties include grassroots development, coach education and the delivery of the City of Edinburgh Girls’ Sports Academy. For the last 9 years he also held the role as Girls Performance Coach for the U14 regional squad, and will step down from that role this Summer.
Claire Ditchburn Biography:
Claire moved to Scotland after finishing a combined degree in Sports Studies at York and Michigan State Universities, and having spent time coaching for Sunderland FC. She is currently head coach at the City of Edinburgh Girls Sports Academy, Girls football coordinator for City of Edinburgh Council and after 2 years as working as assistant coach for the U16 regional performance squad has recently been appointed head coach. Before arriving in Scotland Claire experienced coaching in the USA, Sweden and Portugal and last year was asked to assist Pauline McDonald at the U15 national camp. She leaves fellow SWPL club Hutchison Vale Ladies as a player to come and take up the role of assistant coach to Chris
Alfie Smith Biography:
Alfie currently holds a UEFA ‘C’ Licence and will be working towards the ‘B’ Licence this year. He has coached with Hibernian Girls & Ladies FC for six and a half years where he has worked with u15s, u17s and Ladies’ squads. During his time with Hibernian Alfie has had success at U17s winning the League, League Cup and Scottish Cup. Last season he led the Ladies Development Squad to gaining promotion to Division 1 and won the 2nd Division League Cup. Currently he is coaching the Hibernian Development squad.