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Leicester City sack Lydia Bedford after six-game losing run with Willie Kirk to take charge of their WSL side

LEICESTER CITY have dropped the axe on Lydia Bedford’s tenure as manager with the team currently bottom of the WSL.

Foxes’ women’s football director Willie Kirk will take charge of the side before a tough home duel with Arsenal following six straight losses.

Leicester have parted company with Lydia Bedford just over a year on from her appointment as manager of their WSL team
Willie Kirk will take charge of the Foxes on a permanent basis with the team playing Arsenal at the King Power next

Bedford’s departure comes in a week which has seen Hope Powell step down as Brighton Women’s boss after five years at the helm.

It also comes just over a year on from her appointment after Leicester announced the sacking of former gaffer Jonathan Morgan.

The club also confirmed Bedford’s assistant Nicola Williams will leave her role after just three months following her appointment this August.

Leicester City Chief Executive Susan Whelan said: “We’re extremely grateful to Lydia for everything she has done during her time with Leicester City, guiding our players through a difficult first season in the WSL.

Her skill as a coach and dedication to improving players were big factors in the retention of our WSL status and will continue to serve her well in a successful career at the top of the women’s game.

“After a difficult start to the season, we now look to move forward with the team led by Willie Kirk, whose experience and knowledge will be of great value for the challenges ahead.”

Kirk, who managed Everton’s Women’s Super League side from December 2018 to last October, will take on his new role on a permanent basis.

His first game in charge will be a Sunday afternoon clash with Arsenal who set a new WSL record with their 13th successive top-tier match win last time out.  

And he will be supported by first-team coach Steve Kirby and Foxes hero technical coach Emile Heskey.

In the 2020-21 season, Kirk led the Toffees to a fifth-place finish.

The Scotland-born coach also guided the team to the 2020 Women’s FA Cup final where they were beaten 3-1 by Manchester City

Leicester are chasing their first point and win in the top-flight term with the team currently three points behind Brighton in the league.

Bedford, who previously coached England girls’ youth teams including the Lionesses’ Under-17s, steered Leicester to survival in their first year in the WSL last term.


The club endured a tough start losing 10 games across all competitions between last September and early December.

This was before Bedford took charge of her first match on December 12 last year which was a WSL duel against the Gunners.

However, the Foxes rallied to pick up four wins and a draw to narrowly avoid the drop finishing two points ahead of rivals Birmingham City.

But the team, who made history by reaching the top flight for the first time last term, have lost all six WSL games played so far this season.

According to the club, the appointment of the Kirk is part of a reorganisation of its women’s first team operation.

Leicester took a first-half lead against Reading during Bedford’s last game in charge before losing 2-1 to the Royals

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