OUTGOING Coventry City Ladies manager Craig Nicholls admits leaving the club was a difficult decision but he was in need of a fresh challenge.
The Northern Premier League club confirmed this week that Nicholls has resigned from his role after two years with the Sky Blues.
Nicholls led the club to a second place finish in the league last season and won the Birmingham County Cup for a second successive season.
He also helped the club reach the Fifth Round of the Women’s FA Cup before they were eventually knocked out by Charlton Athletic.
“It was a really tough decision as the players, coaching and medical staff have been a unbelievable since I’ve been at the club,” Nicholls told the Observer.
“But you have to sometimes do what you feel is right for yourself and this feels right.
“I feel like a new challenge. We have won the league, two County Cups and had a chance of winning the league this year if not for an error with the points deduction.
“I want a new challenge. I feel I have the knowledge now to push on.
“I’ve worked three years with Mark Sampson at Bristol and now had my own experience as well as years in the USA managing teams. I have to look higher.”
Nicholls replaced Chris Holloway as first team manager in June 2013 and in his first season he led the Sky Blues to the Women’s Premier League Southern Division title.
He also tasted success by lifting the County Cup, something he went on to repeat last season.
Asked if he leaves the club in a better state than when he joined, he Nicholls added: “I would definitely say the club is in a better place. We have become very successful.
“Coventry City is known as one of the best two teams outside the Women’s Super League and the implementation of our own coaching philosophy throughout the club by myself and my assistant Joe Robinson has been key in helping players develop and coaches develop.
“The club has a clear structure and philosophy which I’m proud of.
“I’ve enjoyed being at the club massively. We have been successful who wouldn’t enjoy that.
“My favourite memory would probably be beating Gillingham away in the penultimate game of my first season.
“We knew we had to win and to win 3-0 and do it in style was fantastic. We were written off that day but we came up with the goods.”