Departing Blues boss on stepping down from ladies role
Pompey are on the hunt for a new manager following Perry Northeast’s decision to step down following the end of the 2015/16 campaign.
After arriving at the club in 2013 – initially taking joint control with Katie Poore – he led the Blues to the Premier League Southern Division title, as well as three Hampshire Cup triumphs.
But now Northeast feels the time is right to seek a fresh challenge, although he admits that it was not an easy choice to make.
He said: “I’ve given absolutely every ounce of effort to the club and to the players over the past three years – and, in return, the squad have given me and the coaches plenty back.
“Now it’s time for me to refresh, although it was the most difficult decision to make and I still haven’t really come to terms with it.
“It doesn’t feel real yet and I don’t think it will until the players return for pre-season and I’m not there.
“There’s a fantastic first team squad in place, but there’s also plenty of quality in the development side.
“One of the main objectives when I first took over was to put a professional infrastructure in place, so we can have a production line of people coming through.
“Whoever leaves – whether it be a player or coach – I’d like to think that the club is sustainable and would still be able to perform at a high level.
“We’ve enjoyed plenty of success with the trophies we’ve won and have created fantastic memories that will last a lifetime.
“What we’ve been able to do is put this team on the map locally, regionally and even nationally. We’ve shown that ladies football can thrive in Portsmouth.
“I’m not sure what’s next for me – I haven’t really had time to think about that yet. I’m a man without a plan currently.
“This summer I’m studying for my ‘A Licence’ and looking forward to that, but we’ll just have to see what follows on from there.”
Pompey were cruelly denied a place at the top table of women’s football at the end of last season, losing to Sheffield in a promotion play-off.
Northeast said: “It’s going to be very hard work to get to that level – I’m not going to lie. Ladies football is moving at a rate of knots, although Pompey are certainly up there at the moment.
“We’re an outfit that other sides don’t want to play – whether you’re a fellow Premier League team or one from the Super League.
“It’s vital that we stay ahead of the curve on and off the field if that ultimate ambition is to be realised.”