After three and a half successful years in charge of HTAFC Ladies, Jon Maloney has decided to step down as Ladies first team Manager.The decision comes as the original four-year plan for Ladies football at Town nears its conclusion as Jon and his partner await the birth of their child within the next month.
Martin Powell will take charge until the end of the season, with the search for a permanent successor now underway.
Former Wetherby Athletic Manager and Harrogate Railway Assistant Manager Powell has a wealth of managerial experience and has been working closely with the Ladies throughout the season.
Maloney's Assistant Manager Ben Sadler will also be stepping down from his role.
Jon and Ben have played an integral part in the development of women/girls football at Town, with two teams competing at their highest ever level and a thriving Player Development Centre programme which caters for girls football development from 6 years upwards.
“It has been an honour and a privilege to manage HTAFC Ladies 1st team for the last 4 years.” Added Jon Maloney.
“To see the growth of women's football in the Harrogate area has been nothing short of amazing. To think four years ago there was no women's team at Harrogate Town and now, with two open age sides, and a thriving player development centre, the future looks incredibly bright.
“I would like to put on record my thanks to the players and staff that I have worked with over the last four years. A special thanks has to go to my partner in crime Ben Sadler - his support and commitment has been top class, and without that support, the women's set up at HTAFC wouldn't be where it is today. Martin Powell has also been an invaluable figure and I wish him and the team all the best for the rest of the season.
“A final thanks has to go to the players who have worked incredibly hard to get the club to where it is today. With their hard work and dedication to the cause, Town have become a force to be reckoned with throughout the North of England.
“I have many happy memories of the last four years, not least this year's glorious FA Cup run, and the support, at The CNG, of over 160 loyal HTAFC fans - a quite unforgettable day.
“Thanks for the memories!"
During their time in charge, Maloney and Sadler have overseen two promotions, and leave with their team at the top of the table, and well placed to challenge for promotion to the Women's Premier League.
Last season's maiden NERWFL Premier League campaign coincided with a memorable run to the West Riding County Cup Semi-Finals, where Maloney's side were edged out in a five-goal thriller by a strong Brighouse team, in a classic encounter at Fleet Lane.
There was also a memorable FA Cup run this season, which included a 6-0 defeat of Fleetwood in front of 160 exuberant fans at the CNG Stadium.
Maloney's tenure has also seen the development of many players, with former stars Jade Pennock and Leah Galton going on to play in the Championship for Sheffield United and the WSL for Manchester United.
Jon will continue in his role as a senior coach at the Girls PDC / Academy.
As a club we would like to thank both Jon Maloney and Ben Sadler for the outstanding contribution they have made to the development of Ladies football in the Harrogate and District area over the past three and a half years. We would also like to wish every success to the new Manager Martin Powell.