Association Football Club Ann Arbor have hired Andy Pritchard as the first head coach of the new women’s team. Pritchard, who holds a USSF A License, brings over 20 years of coaching experience to The Mighty Oak. His previous coaching destinations have included serving as Technical Director of Canton Celtic Soccer Club, Director of Coaching for Michigan Rush – Downriver, and Club Director for Michigan Tigers F.C.
In addition to the experience he holds in the United States, he also possesses an English F.A. Coaching License. He spent time in England coaching the Manchester City youth academy players and as a player himself he spent time in both the Manchester City youth academy and on the English university level at Priestley College in Manchester.
This step forward in Pritchard’s career is one of great excitement for the long-time coach in the state of Michigan. “I would like to thank the organization for giving me the opportunity to coach for AFC Ann Arbor. 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,” said Pritchard.
As this is the first season for the women’s side of AFC Ann Arbor, part of what Pritchard feels responsible for is not just on-field results, but also building a culture. Pritchard said, “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.”
The women’s team, which was announced in October 2018, will begin play in May of 2019 in the United Women’s Soccer league’s Midwest division. The Midwest includes two out of state teams based in Indiana, Indy Premier and the Fort Wayne Gryphons, and five other teams in the state of Michigan: Detroit Sun, Genesee FC, Grand Rapids FC, Lansing United and Michigan Legends.
The United Women’s Soccer league began play in May of 2016 and will enter its fourth season this spring/summer. It is in the second tier of the United States’ women’s soccer pyramid and has continued to see increases in growth as the league grows in experience. Upon start of the first season, the women’s side will join the men’s side as the only semi-professional club teams in Washtenaw County.
Prospective players can expect tryout information to be released within the next month but can fill out this form to receive updates and more information.