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Sara steps down – North Wales Women’s Football League loses good manager

Sara Hilton (centre) with Connah’s Quay director of football and assistant-manager Jay Catton (left) and club secretary Tom Houghton at the time of her appointment last year. Picture: Nik Mesney, NCM Media

Sara Hilton has stepped down as manager of Connah’s Quay Nomads’ women’s team due to career progression away from the club.

Hilton led the newly-formed Nomads to the semi-finals of the FAW Women’s Welsh Cup last season, their tie against Swansea City remaining unplayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In the previous round, the North Wales Women’s League Division Two underdogs had knocked out Welsh Premier side Port Talbot Town 2-1.

Nomads finished runners-up in Division One and ended up unbeaten in six matches – five wins and a draw.

They narrowly missed out on the title to Amlwch Town under the unweighted points per game method.

The Quay’s only defeats during the season both came against Bethel in the Betty Pickering Cup and North East Wales Cup.

Hilton earned widespread praise for her success with a new team, but career opportunities elsewhere have led to her calling it a day with the Nomads.

She said: “I’m stepping away from club football for the time being as I unfortunately can’t stretch myself any thinner. It’s a shame given the potential of the squad but as I say I just haven’t got the time that’s needed to lead and manage the team.

“I’ll still be supporting the female game from afar and I’m sure the game will continue to go from strength to strength with the restructure and the continued dedication of all the clubs involved.

“I’m very proud of everything we achieved in our first season and it was a pleasure to coach such brilliant players alongside a first-class assistant in Cassie Thomas. I wish all players and the club all the best for the future.”

Hilton is FAW Trust Coach Educator and Senior Lecturer of Football and Coaching Science at Wrexham Glyndwr University.

As a player, she was Wales captain from under-15 to U-19, plus an ex-Manchester United and Tranmere Rovers defender/midfielder.

Injury ended her playing days prematurely, but since going into coaching she has been a resounding success. She is currently an A licence candidate.

Grassroots North Wales has found Sara a joy to work with over the past 12 months or so and wish her well in her new ventures.

She is a massive asset to women’s football and the game in general in Wales and we hope to be writing a lot more about her in the future. #Virgoperfectionist

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