Lincoln United Women's Manager Ricky Pledger

Lincoln United Women have today announced the appointment of Ricky Pledger as manager.

Pledger joins from Sleaford Town JFC under-16s Belles, having won the county cup with them last season, in addition to duties as a manager for Lincolnshire Schools FA under-14 Girls.

The new boss at Ashby Avenue, who is no stranger to success, was also a coach for Wyberton Wildcats Ladies as they achieved a league and cup double.

Upon joining the club Pledger said: “Yeah, I’m really pleased and really excited to get the season going, really pleased to be in this fantastic club. Obviously, a lot of history there that is great to be a part of.

“I’ve been local for the last ten years working in and around the area, I’ve seen a lot of the junior setup, seen a lot of the adult’s football with the devs, women’s and men’s teams, so that attracted me to it, seeing the family it provides.”

Pledger joins a Lincoln United team who completed an unbeaten treble in the fifth tier of women’s football in 2023/24.

Lincoln United Women seal East Midlands Womens Regional Premier Division title
Lincoln United Women won a historic treble last season. Credit: Ed Mayes Photography

The team won all 18 of their league games, scoring an incredible 110 goals and conceding just ten on their way to promotion to tier four. They also added the county and league cup to their trophy cabinet.

Former manager Chris Funnell announced he would be departing the Whites on May, 17.

On the pressure that comes with joining a winning team, Pledger said: “There’s always going to be a little bit of pressure coming into a new league, a new challenge coming off the back of a very successful season that they had last year, the main part for me is to maintain that consistency in the league.”

He added: “My philosophy is all about confidence, to get the best out of my players I want them to be confident on the ball, off the ball, when even not playing football because that gets the best out of them and brings their character out.”

The new manager may look forward to a derby clash as Lincoln United will face their city rivals Lincoln City in the league during the 2024/25 campaign. The Whites came out 2-1 winners when they met in the semi-finals of the Lincolnshire FA County Cup last campaign.

It is therefore undoubtedly an exciting time to be part of Lincoln United Women, as they look to firstly maintain their status in the Women’s National League Division One Midlands. Ricky Pledger has a tough act to follow in Chris Funnell, but if he can repeat even half of what his predecessor did at the club, he will have been successful.

Feature Image Credit: Ed Mayes Photography