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Women's Football News
Newquay are pleased to announce that Liam Dart, the FA's National Grassroots Coach of the Year, is taking charge as manager of their ladies side.
He will be taking over from Alan Metters who has been manager of the South West Combination Women's Football League side for the past three seasons and led Newquay to last year's Ambassador League Cup.
Dart, 27, has been involved in ladies football for seven years, managing Holsworthy Ladies for two and a half years before moving to manage Launceston Ladies for four years. He has just spent 12 months out of the game.
He was named the FA's National Grassroots Coach of the Year in 2012 after being nominated, unbeknown to himself, by some of the girls from his time at Launceston and also by some of the Under-18 boys he manages at Budehaven Community School.
Dart explains: "I won the county award, then I won the South West and then I went on an won the national. It was a bit of a shock actually. I had resigned from the ladies at the end of the season and then I had a phonecall at the beginning of July to say that I had won the county award, which I didn't even know I had been nominated for, although apparently I was nominated back in February for it.
"I thought it was somebody winding me up. Two weeks later I won the South West one, again not having a clue, I thought somebody was joking. I was then invited to St Georges Park to coach in front of Stuart Pearce, Ray Wilkins and Eric Harrison to be assessed to find out who of the eight regional winners would become the national winner.
"I went up there in the middle of September and a few weeks later I received a phonecall and an e-mail to say that I was National Grassroots Coach of the Year. At the beginning of October I went to Wembley for the England-San Marino game. There was a big awards ceremony at the Hilton Hotel which was hosted by Chris Kamara and Ben Shepard.
"There was people like Matt Le Tissier, Gordon Banks, Pat Jennings, David Bernstein, Trevor Brooking, as you do! Three days later I got work with Sky as well. Every month they do a special report programme and one of those was on grassroots football and I was on the panel."
Dart put an end to his sabbatical by agreeing to take over the Peppermints' ladies side, a challenge he said he just couldn't turn down, alongside his long-term assistant Chris Hamlyn who has worked alongside him for as long as Dart has been in management.
Dart said: "I was approached back in October and I had a lot of discussions with Newquay over a period of four or five months. It was a challenge I couldn't turn down to be honest. Newquay has gone a little bit downhill in terms of their league status. I thought it was a good challenge to get them back out of it and build a decent side.
"My target is to build a local side, to regain some respect and success. The key thing is, from my point of view, to have local girls from Cornwall playing. There are lot of good local players in my opinion and hopefully we can build a good side. In addition to that there are some good players currently at Newquay from Plymouth which we can also use.
"Building on the squad Newquay have already by adding in local players, not dragging people in from Bristol or Gloucester which I know has been done previously, and try to build a side which can win and progress. The aim is to get into the Premier League as soon as possible.
Newquay AFC Chairman Peter Butterly said: "Alan and his team have done a great job over the last three or four years but sometimes you need a new direction. For personal reasons, they have done fantastic for the club, but they've had to move on.
"If we are going to move the club forward, getting them back into the National Premier League, then it needs a new impetus. We've gone for a slightly younger, more modern coaching system than what we've had in the past.
"We looked around and we saw that Liam won coach of the year and has been very active in women's football over the last few years. We thought it was a perfect match."
Dart concluded: "We are both excited to have the opportunity to take the club forward. We're inheriting a good side and the players have done brilliantly this year, we want to bring more success."
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