Gareth Owen is head coach of the new Wrexham AFC Women’s Under-19 team
Many thanks to Colin Henrys of Wrexham AFC for his assistance with this article
Wrexham AFC Women’s new under-19 side have appointed a head coach who will need no introduction.
Former Dragons midfielder Gareth Owen will lead the team in charge of developing the young prospects.
Wrexham are one of eight North Wales clubs selected for senior Tier 2 North status in the 2021-22 season.
Those competing at this level are encouraged to form an under-19’s side for a development league and Wrexham are certainly taking on the challenge with gusto.
Owen spent more than a decade at the Racecourse Ground during his playing career, making 298 Football League appearances and featuring in more than 400 first-team games in all over 12 seasons.
The midfielder played in the club’s unforgettable FA Cup third-round win against Arsenal in 1992, and many other huge games in that decade – including winning promotion in 1993 and the Welsh Cup two years later.
After retiring from professional football, but while still playing semi-pro, Owen completed his coaching qualifications and in 2011 obtained the UEFA Pro Licence.
He has coached and managed Rhyl FC, as well as being a key player for the Lilywhites in their 2008-09 Welsh Premier League title success. Owen has also led Airbus UK Broughton in the WPL, and has experience in the women’s game after coaching within the FAW Girls North Regional Squads for many years.
On his Wrexham return, Owen told the club’s website: “It’s brilliant to be back involved with the football club.
“Wearing the badge feels right. I had a great affinity with the club as a player. It means a lot to me, I’m really proud to be back involved and I’m really looking forward to the challenge.
“The women’s game’s gone from strength to strength. There’s lots of inspiration out there within the national women’s team. Wrexham have got teams all the way from Under-eights, Under-tens, Under-12s and all the way through to the women’s team.
“The Under-19s will be a really important part of that pathway, something to keep that age group at the club before they maybe take that step into the senior women’s game.”
In addition to his role with the Under-19s, Owen will be working with all management and coaching staff across the female age groups, including the women’s first team.
Working alongside Gareth with the Under-19s team, will be Gemma Owen.
Gemma is currently Head of Female Football at the Racecourse Community Foundation and centre manager of the Girls Performance Centre at Wrexham.
She has been working in female football for six years and holds the UEFA/FAW B Licence. Gemma is also currently coach of the Under-10s and Under-14s at the Girls Performance Centre, delivered in partnership with the FAW Trust.
Steven Jones will be the Under-19’s head goalkeeping coach. Jones has been with the RCF Girls and Wrexham AFC Women’s team since 2019, developing the club’s goalkeepers.
Jones holds a FAW/UEFA B Goalkeeper Licence qualification, and is also the current Goalkeeper Coach for the FAW Trust North Wales regional boys.
Rounding off the Under-19s staff will be Sports Therapist Gaynor Davies.
Davies has recently been appointed Sports Therapist for the Wrexham AFC Women’s first-team too, and will combine that role with her work with the Under-19s, leading pre-training/game activation and leading on responsibility for medical treatment and rehabilitation players.