ANN ARBOR - AFC Ann Arbor announced Wednesday the hiring of Andy Pritchard as the head coach of the club's first-ever women's team.
Pritchard brings over 20 years of coaching experience -- and a USSF "A" license -- to The Mighty Oak.
He has worked with several clubs in Michigan, including the Canton Celtic Soccer Club, Michigan Rush - Downriver and Michigan Tigers FC.
Pritchard also has an English Football Association coaching license. He spent time in England coaching players at the Manchester City youth academy -- a center he played at when he was young. He played at the university level in England at Priestley College in Manchester.
"Andy is very well-respected in the Ann Arbor community, and we're thrilled to have him join our family," AFC Ann Arbor chairman and general manager Bilal Saeed told A4. "He's been in the stands supporting our men's side for quite a few matches and genuinely believes in the culture we've built. Knowing he will provide an amazing atmosphere with high-level training to help develop players with our women's side assured us he was the right person to lead this team."
"I would like to thank the organization for giving me the opportunity to coach for AFC Ann Arbor," Pritchard said in a statement. "Getting to coach a women's team in the community I live in means a great deal, especially having two young daughters of my own who love the game. I'm most excited about working with the players and staff, trying to create a team that the community can be proud of."
For Pritchard, building a healthy team culture is just as important as on-field results.
"I would be lying if I didn't say I want to win anything and everything, but the one thing I hope from year one is to produce a training/playing environment that will improve the players over the course of the season, creating something that players will want to come back to for years to come," he said.
The women's team will begin playing in May in the United Women's Soccer league's Midwest division, joining fellow Michigan teams like Genesee FC, Detroit Sun, Grand Rapids FC, Michigan Legends and Lansing United.
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