BRADFORD City Women have appointed Charlotte Stuart as player-manager.

Stuart, a club stalwart who has been at the Bantams for over a decade, was already assistant manager, but has now stepped up to the top job following the departure of former boss Chris Hames to Hull City.

The midfield maestro will be assisted by Gareth Davis, who has been promoted from his previous role of first-team coach.

Delighted City chairman Qasim Akhtar said: “I’ve said previously that the club has moved in a good direction over the last couple of years, and it was a big thing for us to have someone as manager who gets the culture here.

“Charlotte lives and breathes this club, and we thought she was the best candidate for our structure, as someone who buys into what we do, our DNA and philosophy.

“I said we wanted fresh ideas, but I still think Charlotte provides us with those.”

Discussing the appointment process, Akhtar said: “Charlotte put herself forward for the role, and she was up against some good candidates.

“But she has so much respect for this club, and she’s so detailed in her coaching methods that I’m just full of admiration for her.

“She knows what she’s doing and the players really engage with her.”

Asked if he is worried about how Stuart will balance playing and managing, Akhtar said: “It’s easy to ask whether she can do both, but you saw how good a job Danny Forrest did at Silsden in that role.

“He’s now moved to Guiseley, where Danny Ellis will be in that role as player-manager too.

“Charlotte can manage herself if needed. If she needs to be the manager, she will, but if she’s playing, she’ll be able to put that cap on.

“I’m sure she’ll do a really good job.”

Most managers in the women’s game are men, so talking about Stuart bucking that trend, Akhtar said: “First and foremost, our decision was based on what the candidates could bring to the club as a coach.

“But I do think it’s good to have a female head coach in the female game, and it helps that they perhaps understand the female psyche better.

“If a male coach or manager has not looked into that, he may not understand that female players go through different things to males.

“Whereas if a woman hasn’t researched that, she will still have an understanding of that from her life as a female.

“Charlotte has been through all this in her playing career and for our younger players, they can look up to her.

“You’ve seen it with the England manager (Sarina Wiegman) and what she’s done since she came in to take over the women’s team.

“If you see it working, you believe in it.”