Nichola Sturrock has been named as the new Women’s Under-16s head coach. It’s a key role within the Scottish FA’s performance strategy, identified as a priority in the girls’ and women’s performance pathway to support players as they progress through the youth age groups towards the eventual aim of senior international football.

Nichola has spent the last 18 months supporting the girls’ and women’s game as a Regional Officer with the Scottish FA as well as taking on the role as an assistant coach to the Scotland Women’s under-17s with Pauline MacDonald and Gavin Beith.

Prior to that Nichola had been coaching at the Hearts Girls’ Academy, guiding the under-16s to a treble last season whilst gaining her UEFA ‘A’ license.

Before turning to coaching, Nichola played for a number of teams as a midfielder, including Hamilton Accies and Livingston. Nichola was part of the squad who helped gain the ‘Livi Lionesses’ promotion to SWPL2 at the end of last season.

Ahead of starting her new role, Nichola said: “It’s an honour to have the opportunity to step into this position. I’ve been immersed in football my whole life and having spent the last few years supporting the growth and development of the girls and women’s game, I’m looking forward to sharing my experience to further support the youth national teams.

“The experience I’ve gained as a player has been invaluable over the years, as have the opportunities I’ve had to work with the youth teams at both the Scottish FA and Hearts. I can’t wait to get started.”

Girls’ and Women’s Performance Manager, Michael McArdle is delighted to have Nichola on board as a full-time member of the coaching staff: “Nichola is an asset to our coaching group and it’s fantastic to have her as a part of the team.

“The knowledge and experience she has will be of huge benefit to the girls’ and women’s game and it further strengthens our coaching resource around the performance pathway.

“As part of our elite coaching development plan, Nichola will join Hayley Lauder and I as the coaching team for the upcoming friendly double-header for the women’s under-19s later this month. This is another great opportunity to share knowledge and experience to benefit both our coach development and our youth teams at every level.”