Sheffield United: Coach's departure will prompt scrutiny of women's part-time policy

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Neil Redfearn’s decision to step down as manager of Sheffield United Women is likely to prompt further scrutiny of the club’s decision not to grant his former players full-time status.

After the former Barnsley, Watford and Crystal Palace midfielder’s departure was confirmed, head of football Zoe Johnson told United’s official website that she was “disappointed” to see him leave before crediting the “progress” the team made under his stewardship.

Although United have suffered a disappointing run of results of late, most of their opponents in the FA Women’s Championship operate on a fully professional basis. But this is not the case at Bramall Lane, with many of those Redfearn used to coach holding down second jobs. Many work for United’s foundation programme.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Redfearn issued a statement, announcing his decision, ahead of the Continental Cup clash with Everton. His latest match in charge was against London City Lionesses, which drew a crowd of more than 11,000 to Bramall Lane.

"I would like to thank everyone connected with Sheffield United for their support during my time as manager of the women's team,” Redfearn said. “I am proud of the players and staff, who have performed exceptionally well in an increasingly full-time league with a win percentage of 44 across all competitions, and I wish them all the very best in their future careers.

“It has been a real pleasure to witness and support the development of everyone we have worked with over the past couple of years and I am proud of those who continue to make progress as players and as individuals.”