Workington Reds Ladies’ new head coach Paul Mackenzie owes his involvement to one of his two daughters.
She began playing with Workington Diamonds five years ago at Under-12s and that was when Paul started his coaching.
Unfortunately, her interest in football faded leaving her dad behind with his new found interest.
Paul coached at Cockermouth Under 16s Girls with Colin Teasdale and the team went on to a County Cup and League Cup double in 2020/21.
In August this year he was asked by Brian Haywood to join Reds Ladies as an assistant coach but then three months later, Brian left the club in November after five years of dedicated service to the team. 
A consequence of that was Paul being asked by the team if he would like to step up and take over.
He says: “I am fortunate that I have the support of two outstanding coaches who have really impressive pasts as players of women’s football.
“I think they represent our club’s commitment to develop ladies football from the outstanding resources within the club. It’s an important message in my opinion.”
Helen Wagstaff has agreed to take on the Assistant Coach’s role as well as continuing to have a key role as a player.
She originates from Yorkshire and brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the coaching set up, having started.
Having achieved county recognition between 2001-2003 she was called up for England Under 19s trials in 2003 and trained with Huddersfield Town before moving to America to study for a masters degree in psychology and playing college soccer at the University of Texas in Brownsville in 2008. 
She captained her side between 2008-2012 gaining numerous accolades along the way. Her attention was focused on academic studies between 2012-2015 and took a step back as a footballer but during this time she worked as an Assistant Coach before taking over as Head Coach. 
In 2015 she signed a professional contract with Houston Aces before returning to the UK where she played for Leeds United FC Ladies and captained the side in the first women’s game held at Elland Road. 
She then had a break from football to focus on her family in 2017 and latterly moved to Cumbria and her first taste of football since then was when she signed for Reds Ladies in 2020. 

Rebecca Scott, from Dearham, is to continue her sterling work as goalkeeping coach having first joined the Reds in 1997. She moved to Windscale Ladies in 2002, winning two League titles and a Regional Cup. 
She had a brief spell at Carlisle United Ladies before returning to the Reds in 2012 before hanging up her boots seven years later. She had been a member of Cumberland Cup-winning teams, as well as being captain and assistant manager.
Of the coaching team, Paul says: “It is fair to say that between the three of us we all bring different qualities to the coaching set-up. 
“We see this as a real positive in what we aim to deliver to the team. We want to develop the style of football which will enable each and every player in the club to have the chance to play to their maximum potential.  
“We want to build solid foundations so that the talented young female footballers can follow in the current players footsteps. We aim to challenge our team to play at the highest level of football that we can achieve.”
He recalls how he only really played football at school, for as a youngster until he was 21, his sport was rugby league when he played for the highly successful Derwent Park Rangers and Workington Town Academy in its first year of existence. 
“I feel I have benefitted from being coached by some terrific coaches namely Tony Roper, Brian Goulding and the late Kevin Gartland and supported from the side-lines by the ever enthusiastic Barry Williamson, all great names in the Cumbrian Rugby League circles.
“There is no doubt that their influences have had a significant impact on my style of coaching.
“The drive, passion and commitment of the current players at Reds Ladies certainly played a big part in my decision to accept their offer. 
“The desire that the players have to play the best football that they are capable of and their focus to delivering this is absolutely superb. There is a real commitment from the team to play at the highest level of league football that we can achieve and to offer the same opportunity to young female footballers from our community in the future.”
   
Paul, who works at Sellafield, is 47 now, and clear in how he sees Reds Ladies going forward in the future.
“My immediate aim is to develop a way of playing football that will enable us to be more structured in our matches. I want this to be understood and adopted by all players so that we can interchange players both now, and in the future, whilst maintaining continuity of our performances. 
“I would also like to strengthen the links between ourselves and the main club and raise the profile of the ladies team. Longer term I want us to be able to offer the highest level of football to the female footballers in our community without having to travel out of the county. We will look to establish a development team when the time and support is right to do so.
“We need to develop a closer working relationship with the Reds in the community. They have recently set up a Workington Reds Girls Academy to mirror the already successful Boys Academy. Their objective is to create a realistic pathway into both the men’s and ladies first teams.

“Currently the girls have U10s, U12s, U14s and U16s age groups. It is important for us to look at the players that are leaving the Under 16s age groups with a view of integrating some of them into our squad of players and giving them the chance to ply their skills at the highest level of football available to them.”

Reds Ladies currently play in the North West Women’s Regional Division One and are currently sitting in third place with 22 points, and are looking to achieve the team’s largest points total since joining the league. 
The women are mainly from West Cumbria but they also have players from Yorkshire, Reading and Southern Scotland.

Paul says: “The standard of football in our league is really good and highly competitive. There is a mixture of first teams like ourselves but also development teams which is used to bring players on and feed them into their first team. 
“We will be challenging ourselves to become front runners in the league with an aim of gaining promotion into the North West Women’s Regional Premier League.

“One of the biggest obstacles we have when looking to develop the team and the support for the team is not having a place that we can call our home. 
“We have been able to use Borough Park earlier on this season and this is a massive boost to us from both a financial and inclusion perspective.
“We appreciate that playing too many games at Borough Park will have a significant impact on the playing surface and that the work undertaken go keep the pitch in its current high standard is a massive effort from the loyal volunteers.
“However when we are unable to use Borough Park we generally have to book 3&4G pitches that meet our leagues criteria for football facilities.
“This obviously comes at a significant cost to us and puts a strain on already stretched finances. 
“We are currently looking at alternatives to see us through the next two to three years until we will hopefully have a new sports facility in the town. This would really help us build for the future and help us develop as a club to support the young female footballers in Cumbria.

“Based on my knowledge of the standard of girls football across the county and being aware of all of the excellent work being carried out at each club, I see the standard of Girls and Ladies football growing at an amazing rate over the coming years. 
“We would like to offer some of these girls the opportunity to showcase their skills at the highest level available to them locally. If we can integrate the local upcoming talent in to the already extremely driven and talented squad we have now I would have no doubts in saying that the future of our club has a really healthy future.

“We want this club to become a reflection of all of the work being carried out locally with regards to Girls and Ladies football. We want our club to be representative of the hunger that exists locally in our communities for Girls and Ladies football. 
“It would be terrific to see the support for the team grow and seeing faces on the sidelines encouraging our team and witnessing what they do week in week out would benefit the growth of the club and the realisation that we exist for their future.”
All matches are advertised on their social media platforms and entry to the games is free. All that is asked is that spectators leave a small donation to help with the costs of running the club.
Their first home game of 2022 will be against local rivals Penrith Ladies FC on January 23. This should be an evenly contested game as both sides have similar league records. Support from the community would be greatly welcomed by the club.
Workington Reds Ladies certainly appears to be in good, safe hands and deserves all the backing it can get.
A successful business growth programme that helped to create 80 new jobs in Cumbria has been extended for 2022.
14 King Street
Penrith
Cumbria
CA11 7AH
Phone: 01768 862313
Email: [email protected]
Registered in England no: 33217
VAT registration number: 343486488 
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© Barrnon Media Limited 2021
© 2021 Barrnon Media Ltd

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