The Blues have named Rachel Harris as Ipswich Town Women’s general manager.
During last month’s PLC AGM, CEO Mark Ashton revealed that the club has hired someone for the newly established post.
Town said Harris, who worked as commercial and marketing manager for Women’s Championship side London City Lionesses from February to December last year, “will oversee off-pitch activity, working to grow the women and girls’ infrastructure to help drive progress on the pitch.”
“I’m excited to have joined Ipswich Town and have enjoyed meeting people from across the club, including CEO Mark Ashton, during my early time here,” Harris said on the club’s official website.
“The women’s team at the club already has good foundations in place thanks to the hard work of Joe Sheehan, the staff and the players, and my role is to continue building on the good progress, enabling our future visions to become reality.
“We have a determined and close-knit group of players and staff who work incredibly hard as individuals but also for each other, so I’m excited to have the opportunity to be able to support them to develop and grow off the pitch.”
Explaining the appointment at the AGM, Ashton said: “We will be announcing over the next few weeks the appointment of a general manager to the women’s team to take some of the load off [Tractor Girls manager] Joe Sheehan, who has done a wonderful job.
“We’re developing the training ground. Within that will be facilities made available for the women
“We are looking at where we have our exhibition pitch and, as a result, where we will host the women’s games in the long run to provide them with better facilities. But they’re an important element of our football team.
“If you speak to Joe, the players, or [striker] Natasha [Thomas], who serves as a trustee on our community foundation board, we treat them all equally.
“To me, the development of the women’s game is critical. If we give a nine-year-old boy an ambition and a road to play for our first team, we must also provide a nine-year-old girl the same opportunity to play for Ipswich Town’s women’s team. And it is something we are extremely passionate about.
Director of football operations Gary Probert added: “Rachel’s hiring is significant for the club, demonstrating our commitment to continuously growing the women’s team and building on the progress gained in recent years.
“She will collaborate closely with Joe, our support team, and the players to improve the women’s and girls’ infrastructure off the pitch while also providing us with the finest platform for success on the pitch.
“Rachel brings a wealth of experience to the role and we are excited to have her with us as the women’s team takes another important step forward.”
The Tractor Girls will play away against the London Bees on Sunday (KO 1.30pm), with the game moving from the main stadium at Barnet’s Hive to the adjacent artificial surface.