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Gavin Levey provides update on search for new Aberdeen Women manager and shares new three-year strategic plan

Aberdeen Women interim coach Gavin Levey. Image: Shutterstock.
Aberdeen Women interim coach Gavin Levey. Image: Shutterstock.

Aberdeen Women interim coach Gavin Levey has provided an update on the club’s search for a new manager.

The club posted a job advert for the vacant role earlier this week, following former co-managers Emma Hunter and Gavin Beith’s resignation last month.

The advert says the job involves a commitment of 20 hours per week, covering three training sessions and a match, and any candidate must hold at least a Uefa B licence.

Levey, who is also Aberdeen’s academy director, said of the job vacancy: “I hope there’s been a lot of interest, but it’s like any job – it has to be right for both parties.

“It’s got to be the right match for everybody. So, what we will be finding out, first of all, is what the motivations of the applicants are.

“We want somebody who comes in here and gets the best out of the team, but also someone who can see that there is something here to develop for the future.

“We don’t just want someone coming in do a job and then going away again. We’ve got to get that right, so there’s a lot of work going on behind the scenes at the club.”

Levey hopes to appoint manager in January

Aberdeen FC academy director Gavin Levey. Image: Aberdeen FC

Levey previously said the club would have liked to have a new manager in place when competitive fixtures resume following the festive break.

However, the interim coach admits this won’t be likely now, due to a Women’s Scottish Cup tie on January 8, but does hope to have someone in place by the end of that month.

He said: “I think it’s going to be nearly impossible now, so we (the interim coaches) will take that game in the Scottish Cup.

“It’s not as easy nowadays because when you get the right candidate – internal or external – it all needs to go through paperwork, clearance and HR.

“We’re realistically preparing ourselves for January, and at some point in January we need to make that appointment.”

The Dons have come to the end of their original three-year plan – which began in 2019 when the club took over the women’s team – so are in a new phase of their development.

The Aberdeen Women coach and academy director explained: “We’re working behind the scenes on a new three-year strategy – so that’s our next step.

“We’ve just completed a three-year plan, so now we need to consolidate our position and make sure that that’s sustainable.

“We’ve got a lot of people in the club – around 25 – who are working in separate subgroups behind the scenes on different aspects of that strategy.

“There’s going to be a lot more people, with different kinds of expertise, than just a new manager who are going to be involved in this project.”

Club will be ‘realistic’ with ambitions for women’s team

Levey says that while the plan is ambitious, the club must be “realistic” with the ways in which they invest and grow Aberdeen Women.

He said:Β  “We’ve got to be realistic. At the moment we need to try and drive funding from the league and the governing bodies to help us here.

“It’s a real challenge, but we know what we need to do – we are ambitious in where we need to get to – but we’re also wary of jumping too soon.

“We need to get it right, so the next three years are about consolidating – and also beingΒ  ambitious – to try and improve everything we do across the board.”

Aberdeen FC Women at Pittodrie. Image: Shutterstock

Does Levey fear that being “realistic” might hold Aberdeen back, as other SWPL 1 clubs around the country continue to highly invest in their women’s teams?

He answered: “If we’re talking about full-time models, then yes, maybe there is that fear, but at the same time, we have to do the maths.

“If you pick a salary and times that by 20, work out the cost – where’s the income for that? We aren’t a football club that has beneficiaries firing money into a project like this – that’s not happening.

“We’re very fortunate and have some great sponsors. Our commercial team and the sponsors who have invested in this team have been magnificent.

“We couldn’t have done what we have without them. But we are still building and it’s a case of building blocks.

“It’s not that we’re this football club flat in ambition – we just want to make sure that we’re taking our time, getting it right and sustainable.”

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