Bedford named U18s Lead in landmark appointment by Brentford

Lydia Bedford has previously worked for Arsenal, Leicester and England Women

Lydia Bedford has previously worked for Arsenal, Leicester and England Women

LYDIA BEDFORD has been named as Brentford Under-18 Lead in a landmark appointment by the Premier League club.

Bedford is the first female lead coach in the Professional Development Phase (18s and 21s) in the English Academy system. She joins from Arsenal Women, where she has been Assistant Coach since the start of this year.

Previously, Bedford worked with England Women’s youth sides and was first-team manager of Leicester City Women’s team in late 2021.

Her assistant will be Jon-Paul Pittman, who joins from Forest Green Rovers, where he was U18s coach. Pittman played for clubs including Crawley Town, Wycombe Wanderers and Oxford United before moving into coaching. He spent time in the youth set-up at Exeter City before joining Forest Green in early 2022.

Brentford’s U18s compete in the South East Youth Alliance League and will move on site to train full-time at the Robert Rowan Performance Centre from the start of 2023/24.

Brentford Director of Football Phil Giles, who will be speaking at TGG Live on October 9th, said: “I’m really pleased that we’ve managed to attract such talented coaches as Lydia and Jon-Paul to our U18 team for next year.

“It’s an important time for the U18 team as next season will be the first where they’ve operated out of the Robert Rowan Performance Centre and integrating them smoothly alongside the first team and B team will be essential.

“We undertook an extensive recruitment process for these roles. Lydia and Jon-Paul were the two best candidates, and thankfully we were able to finalise their recruitment to the staff. I’m sure they will excel, and we all look forward to working with them through pre-season and beyond.”

Brentford are currently operating at Category Four status after re-entering the EPPP system, but aim to rise all the way to Category One. Next season they will have three teams operating at the Robert Rowan Performance Centre - the U18s, B Team and first team.

Last season the U18s were run by the Community Sports Trust. From 2024/25 Brentford aim to be operating at Category Three or Two, with teams from U9s all the way to first team.

They are still recruiting for a goalkeeper coach to assist Bedford and Pittman with the U18s.

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