Liverpool FC Women strengthen technical, medical and sports psychology staff

New Liverpool asssistant manage, Amber Whiteley
New Liverpool Women’s assistant manager, Amber Whiteley

Liverpool FC Women have appointed three new members of backroom staff as the club strengthens its technical, medical and sports psychology departments.

Amber Whiteley is appointed assistant manager to the first team from her current role as head coach of the U-21s and technical director at the LFC Women Regional Talent Club.

A UEFA A licence coach, she obtained her sports science degree at Northumbria University where she later became head of women’s football for many years while also acting as head coach at Sunderland Ladies U-21s. A promotion to assistant first team coach at Sunderland followed from 2017 to 2019.

Prior to joining the Reds in January, she worked at the Football Association where she was part of the FA Elite Coaches Mentee programme, working in a technical role with the England U-18s, alongside Mo Marley.

Dr Leon Creaney

Also joining the club as team doctor is Dr Leon Creaney, whose experience includes acting as Team Doctor at the World University Games in 2007 and as Team Physician for British Athletics from 2007 to 2020, including the senior and Paralympic teams.

In football he ran Spire Perform at St Georges Park, seeing footballers on behalf of the PFA, and has worked with Shrewsbury Town for the past two seasons.

Dr Francesca Champ joins the team as its first performance psychologist. A lecturer in the Psychology of Football at Liverpool John Moores University, she is currently part of a research team exploring mental health in Women’s Super League and the Championship.

She has substantial experience in professional football working at senior and youth level and has delivered performance psychology support to national track and field athletes. Her work has been recognised internationally including an ‘Excellence in Football Research Award’ from the European Congress of Sports Science in Vienna.

Dr Francesca Champ

LFC Women manager Vicky Jepson said: “I see this as a big positive step forwards for our club. Their appointments help strengthen the team behind the team and ultimately help ensure our players have the best support possible daily.

“Amber has already settled in very well with the squad and is showing her qualities as a coach. The psychology element is vital for professional athletes so having Dr Fran onboard as a regular sports psychologist is a huge advantage for us in being able to support the team, either as individuals or collectively.”

First team coach Emma Humphries will leave the team in the Christmas break as she moves to Canada with her family, while doctor Phil Clelland has also departed.

Jepson had a special word of thanks for her departing first team assistant manager with whom she has worked closely. ‘’The team and I would like to thank Emma for her time at the club. I will certainly miss Em around our environment.‘’

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