Ferns assistant coach Nat Lawrence appointed manager at English club

Football Ferns assistant coach Natalie Lawrence has been appointed manager of English FA Women’s Championship club Lewes.

Lawrence (40) steps into the role after joining the club in September 2023 as assistant to Scott Booth, who left the club when his contract expired at the end of the championship season.

“The club is delighted to have a manager in place with an abundance of international experience, with Nat being integral in the New Zealand national team’s 2023 World Cup campaign,” the club said in their announcement.

“We’re proud to confirm she will be part of the New Zealand coaching team at the 2024 France Olympics.”

England-born Lawrence returned to the UK in 2023 after her role as an assistant coach with the Football Ferns at the FIFA Women’s World Cup, and after deciding not to seek reappointment as head coach of the Wellington Phoenix women’s A-League team.

Main photo: Nat Lawrence … will manage Lewes in next season’s English FA Women’s Championship. Photo credit: Lewes FC.

Nat Lawrence … part of the coaching staff for the Wellington Phoenix women’s A-League squad.

East Sussex club Lewes play in the second-tier English FA Women’s Championship, and include Football Fern Katie Rood among their former players.

Lewes’ head of women’s football Lynne Burrell said: “Nat has shown a high level of football understanding and desire to support player development, which is aligned with our philosophy.

“It’s amazing to have Nat progress into the position from assistant manager. She’s the perfect person to help us rebuild and create a solid foundation for the growth of women’s football at Lewes FC.”

Lawrence said: “It feels amazing. It’s been a bit of a journey to get here but I am excited to be remaining with the club and in a new position for the 2024/25 season.

“We are in a moment of transition, whereby we have to re-focus, re-group and re-build, which is exciting to be a part of.”

Booth had been manager at Lewes for two seasons, and led their record-breaking FA Cup run in the 2022-23 season, reaching the quarter-finals for the first time in club history.

Chief executive Maggie Murphy said: “We are grateful for Scott’s hard work and dedication over the last two seasons and during a time of increased professionalisation at the club. We wish him the best in his next chapter.”

Lawrence moved to New Zealand in 2010, and worked for Capital Football from 2012-2015, coaching the federation’s side in the Women’s National League.

After a stint in Canada leading the Vancouver Whitecaps’ academy programme, she returned to Wellington where she coached Team Wellington’s men’s team in the National Youth League.

Lawrence became the assistant to head coach Gemma Lewis for the inaugural Phoenix women’s A-League team and then stepped into the lead role in 2022 after Lewis’ departure.

This story was first published on July 8, 2024.

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