Aston Villa Women caused a bit of a stir this morning by announcing Marcus Bignot would join the club as ‘Interim Manager’.
Words: Regan Foy | @findfoy
Aston Villa Women today announced that Marcus Bignot would join the club as ‘Interim Manager’ with immediate effect – whilst also stating that Head Coach Gemma Davies and the rest of the coaching team would remain in their existing positions.
Whilst the role of Interim Manager provided a bit of a stir on social media this morning with many presuming that Gemma had lost her role at the club, Bignot’s role is more that of a mentor – guiding Gemma and her coaching staff through the tail end of a gruelling season as Aston Villa Women continue to fight bravely against the threat of relegation.
He will join the club until the end of the current season, as he balances this role in parallel with his current roles of Joint Manager at Guiseley and a coach in the England U19 men’s set-up.
On accepting the role at the club, Bignot stated:
“I am delighted to be able to help at such a progressive club in women’s football – and it’s a great opportunity to mentor a talented young coaching group led by Gemma.”
The Birmingham born coach has a wealth of experience in the women’s game and was one of the pioneering coaches in the sport at a young age – becoming manager of local rivals Birmingham City Women at the age of 24 (alongside his own playing career) and remaining in the position for several years. Whilst at the club, he revamped the youth structure of the club and achieved promotion to the top flight of women’s football at the time, the FA Women’s Premier League National Division.
The ‘multi-tasking’ manager also has experience in coaching and management in the men’s game, and his resume includes clubs such as Solihull Moors, Grimsby Town, Barrow, Chester and currently Guiseley.
Bignot managed the Birmingham City Women whilst playing for the likes of Crewe Alexandra, Queens Park Rangers, Bristol Rovers and Rushden & Diamonds – and would have been managing a young Eniola Aluko during her first spell at the Midlands club.
Eniola Aluko, as many will know, is the currently Sporting Director at Aston Villa Women. Her connections within the game have proved to be fruitful for Gemma Davies’ side so far, and bringing in a former mentor of her own to mentor the young Head Coach is likely to be another successful decision by Aluko.
Whilst Bignot has strong Birmingham City connections and is a fan of the club, the former right-back is a positive appointment as Aston Villa Women look to consolidate their place in the top tier of women’s football this season.
With Davies so young and talented, but vastly experienced for a coach of her age – Bignot’s arrival will surely provide a helping hand to the staff and squad at the club.