Tag Archives: Alan Mahon

Jill Scott signs two-year contract at City as player-coach

With women’s football non- existent at the moment on the field, good news reached us off the field that England midfielder Jill Scott has signed a new two-year deal with Manchester City that will see her combine playing with a coaching role.

33-year-old Scott became one of the first signings when City reformed back in 2014 and has gone on to become an essential part of the team that has picked up six major trophies including one WSL title in 2016.

The England midfielder has been instrumental in driving the growth of the women’s game and was deservedly awarded an MBE in the 2020 New Year’s Honours list.

Her new role in the Manchester City set up will see her join the coaching set up by working with assistant Alan Mahon and new head coach Gareth Taylor.

Scott told the club’s website:

“I’m a player first and foremost,

“I’ve been named as a player-coach, but I still want to play for this team and get success.

“It feels fantastic to have everything sorted and to know that I’m going to be at the club for the next two years is something I’m really looking forward to.”

Since her debut for the club in 2014, Scott has helped the Blues win three Continental Cup’s, two FA Women’s Cups and one WSL title.

Standing at 5 feet 11 inches tall, Scott was given the nickname Crouchy after former England International Peter Couch.

Scott was born in Sunderland and started her senior career at her hometown club back in 2005, aged just 18. Her talent didn’t go unnoticed and it wasn’t long before Everton Ladies snapped up her services in the summer of 2006, having turned down the opportunity to sign for Doncaster Rovers Belles. Scott decided to leave the Merseyside club at the end of the 2013 season.

After leaving Everton, Scott put pen to paper on a two-year deal with Manchester City Ladies, and immediately had a big impact on the side when City lifted the Continental Cup Trophy in 2014.

Having made no less than a century of appearances for City Ladies- including 16 this season before the WSL was cancelled in March due to the pandemic- since her debut, she has become an integral part of a very well organised side, who finished this season on top of the table with 40 points but were denied the title when Chelsea were announced as Champions on a PPG basis after the WSL Board decided that this would be the fairest way to decide the season.

At International level, Scott received her first England call up to the senior squad in 2006, having captained the Under 19’s for the previous 18 months. She made her debut for the England senior side against Holland in August 2006.

A year later she represented her country in the 2007 World Cup, coming on as a substitute in England’s opening match against Japan. She progressed to make the remaining matches in the tournament and grabbed her first England goal in a 6-1 thrashing of Argentina in the group stages.

In 2009, Scott was one of 17 women to be given central contracts by the FA. She was named in the squad for the 2009 Women’s European Championships, scoring a late winner as England defeated Holland in the semi-final.

At the 2011 World Cup, she scored against New Zealand in a 2-1 group win and hit the net against France in the quarter-finals of the event.

This year has certainly been a good year so far for the England midfielder after getting an MBE for services to women’s football and also announcing her engagement to her long-term partner Shelley Unitt in March.

Manchester City Women appoint Gareth Taylor as Head Coach

Manchester City’s Women’s side have announced Gareth Taylor as the new Head Coach of the Women Super League side.

Taylor is set to succeed Nick Cushing who moved to New York City FC to take up the role of Men’s Assistant Coach in February this year.

The 47- year-old has previously been coaching the citizens’ under-18 side for the past few seasons winning successive Premier League Under-18 cup titles. Taylor has reportedly signed a three-year deal with the club.

Alan Mahon, who took temporary charge of the WSL side, will aid the former Wales international striker as Assistant Coach.

The former City and Burnley striker, Taylor told the club official website:

“I’m absolutely relishing my new role within City Football Group and I’ll be giving everything I have to continue Manchester City’s success and growth in the women’s game.”

Following the appointment the Club’s head of women’s football, Gavin Makel said:

“I am looking forward to working with Gareth as we enter this new era for the women’s team in which I am confident that we can continue to build upon the successes that we have had over the last six year.”

Taylor’s role will start with immediate affect and he will certainly have the pleasure of working with some talented players. Before the 2019/20 campaign was brought to a conclusion earlier this week the team were top of the league by a point from nearest rivals, Chelsea.

Star names such as England Captain Steph Houghton, Keira Walsh and Caroline Weir have also committed their long-term futures to the club by signing new deals.

Indeed, it certainly bodes well for City to be following the pattern that has worked for them previously, as Cushing himself was an Academy Coach before taking charge of the women’s side for six successful years.

Taylor, however, will have to wait to go into action with his new team as the Football Association have ended the WSL season earlier this week, while the FA have also yet to make a decision on what will happen to the FA Women’s Cup where City made it to the quarter-finals before football was suspended.

WSL Update: Vivianne Miedema keeps Arsenal in the title race

Defending champions Arsenal secured a vital 3-2 win at Liverpool in the latest round of the Women Super League. 

 The impressive Rinsola Babajide had given Liverpool a surprise lead against Joe Montemurro’s side, breaking clear to slide the ball past Pauline Peyraud-Magnin in the Arsenal goal.

England international, Jordan Nobbs then sparked a dramatic three-minute turn around for the Gunners. She provided the cross for Vivianne Miedema to steer home.  Nobbs then scored herself with a powerful header into the top corner.

Rachel Furness however was able to draw the reds level before half time after capitalising on a defensive error from Arsenal full back Lisa Evans.

In the second half, just when it looked like the defending champions were going to drop crucial points, their star striker Miedema again popped up with a critical header to secure the Gunners first win in three WSL games.

Arsenal’s WSL rivals Chelsea and Manchester City both secured home victories against relegation threatened Birmingham City and Bristol City respectively.

Beth England managed to keep up her impressive WSL scoring record for the Blues by grabbing the crucial second and her 13thof the campaign, to help secure a 2-0 victory over the Midlands Club.

In Alan Mahon’s first game in charge of Manchester City meanwhile, Gemma Bonner’s second minute goal was enough to earn the Citizens a 1-0 victory over Bristol City.

A 2-0 victory for Reading over East London side West Ham United was enough to move them up to fourth above Casey Stoney’s Manchester United team, who were held to a 1-1 draw by Hope Powell’s Brighton & Hove Albion.

Elsewhere, Tottenham Hotspur fought back from two goals down to draw 2-2 against Everton in a fiery encounter at their Hive Stadium.

Goals from the Toffees top scorer, Chloe Kelly and Inessa Kaagman had put the Merseyside club in control, however Spurs’ substitute Angela Addison and a long-range free kick from Emma Mitchell earned the North London side a share of the spoils.

February 23rdMatch Previews

Everton vs Manchester United (12:30pm Kick-off)

There is just one point and one place separating these two sides and is a crucial match in the race for finishing fourth.

Casey Stoney’s team have won just once on the road in their past five visits and that was against relegation threatened Birmingham City.

Everton’s home form meanwhile has been pretty good in recent weeks and they have only lost to Manchester City and Arsenal in their last five home games.

Manchester United however won both the previous meetings between the sides including a 3-0 victory at Everton last November in the Continental Tyres Cup.

Prediction Everton 2-0 win

We fancy the Toffees to secure their first win over Manchester United this time around with recently called up England striker, Chloe Kelly proving the difference. 

Birmingham City vs Bristol City (2pm)

This is certainly a relegation six pointer between these two midlands’ clubs.

Bristol City are currently bottom of the Super League but could move up to 10thwith a win over rivals Birmingham City.

Both sides come into this one not in the best of form and have only managed wins in cup games in recent weeks.

The Blues do boast a strong record against the Robins having won five of their previous six encounters including a 2-0 win in the league’s reverse fixture last December.

Prediction: Birmingham City 1-0 win

We believe that Birmingham City will secure the crucial three points in tense encounter. 

Brighton & Hove Albion vs Tottenham Hotspur (2pm)

Hope Powell’s Brighton side come into this one in good form having just lost one of their last five matches.  They have also only lost just once at home in 2020, against defending champions Arsenal.

Spurs meanwhile have been relatively inconsistent in their first season in the WSL so far, however they do find themselves well clear of relegation at this point.

The North London side won the only encounter between the sides back in December in a closely fought 1-0 game at The Hive Stadium.

Prediction: Brighton 2-1 win

We are going for another home win in this one, the Seagulls have been strong at home in recent weeks and we are anticipating them to put on another strong showing in front of their own fans.  

Manchester City vs Chelsea (2pm)

This is arguably the title decider and featured game of the weekend.

Both of these sides are in terrific form, Chelsea are still unbeaten throughout this campaign yet they currently sit second, one point behind their latest opponents Manchester City.

Emma Hayes’ side do however crucially have a game in hand over the Citizens and the home team also come into this one with a newly appointed manager in Alan Mahon, who is taking charge of just his second match.

The West London club won the only meeting of the season so far in 2-1 win at Kings Meadow.

Presently that remains to date  Chelsea’s only victory over Manchester City.

Prediction 1-1 draw

We do not think there is much to split these two teams and we believe this will be a score draw.

West Ham United vs Liverpool (3pm)

West Ham United have been struggling in recent weeks with just one win in their past five games.  That came against Brighton in mid-January.

Vicky Jepson’s Liverpool however have been putting in some good performances recently without getting results, they certainly challenged defending champions Arsenal last time out.

Liverpool’s record against the Hammers is also a good one; they have won two of their three encounters and drew 1-1 against them earlier this season.

Prediction Liverpool 3-1 win

The Merseyside club have been impressive in recent weeks and with the likes of Rinsola Babajide and Rachel Furness in the side we think that they will fire Liverpool to a crucial three points. 

Alan Mahon – the right man for the Manchester City Woman’s job?

Following Nick Cushing’s abrupt departure from Manchester City to take on the role of Assistant Manager at the New York men’s side in the MLS at the start of February, 24/7 football takes a closer look at the man entrusted with leading on of the top sides in the WSL. 

Playing career

Alan Mahon began his professional football career at Tranmere Rovers in 1995.

He made a total of 144 appearances for the club over a five-year period that included a Football League Cup final appearance at Wembley in the year 2000, where Rovers lost 2-1 to Martin O’Neil’s Leicester City.

In the same year Mahon earned his two international caps with the Republic of Ireland in Friendly’s against Greece and South Africa respectively.

The Irishman then secured arguably the biggest move of his career later that year as he was signed by Portugal’s Sporting Lisbon.

During his year spell with the club he featured in the team that lost 4-0 to Real Madrid.  The Madrid team had already qualified for the knockout rounds but it still included the likes of Roberto Carlos, Luis Figo and Claude Makelele.

Mahon said:

“I was playing a team like Crewe a few months ago and all of a sudden I am playing Real Madrid in the Bernabeu in the Champions League. I look back on it now with a lot of happiness – one of the highlights of my career.”

Due to his lack of games in Lisbon however he moved back to England on loan to Blackburn Rovers where he would go on to make the move permanent and help the Lancashire club gain promotion to the Premier League.

Further spells with Wigan and Burnley followed before he finished his career where it all began, at Tranmere Rovers.  The Irishman retired in 2011.

Coaching  experience to this point

Mahon has been involved with the Manchester City set up since 2013 as mainly Nick Cushing’s Assistant Manager.

The advantage of his appointment certainly seems to be the sense of continuity.

When asked about his interim successor Cushing said:

“Alan hasn’t been a head coach but he’s got an incredible amount of knowledge and experience in the game.”

Indeed Cushing took on the Manchester City role himself back in 2013 at the time he did not have much experience in the women’s game and went on to achieve three league cups, two FA Cups and an unbeaten league title winning campaign.

One thing that cannot be ignored however is that Mahon is taking over at a challenging point in the season, title rivals Chelsea are still to lose a match and are just a point behind in the WSL table, the blues have also crucially got a game in hand.

The Citizens are also still in the FA Cup as well so there is still the chance of securing another piece of silverware.

Whether or not Mahon can develop the same successful relationship as a manager with his players as his predecessor remains to be seen.

How do you think Mahon will get on at City? Is he the right man for the job? Feel free to let 24/7 Football know your thoughts.

WSL Update: Nick Cushing signs off with a win against Arsenal

Departing Manchester City manger Nick Cushing ended his six-year stint with the club this past weekend by completing a 2-1 win over Arsenal.

Cushing was presented with an achievement award before the game by current club captain Steph Houghton.

During Cushing’s time with the club he led them to one league title, two Women’s FA Cups and three Women’s League Cup’s.

In form striker Pauline Bremer scored the opener for City just before half time from close range. Lauren Hemp doubled their advantage with a looping header.

Danielle Van de Donk pulled a goal back for the Gunners but it was not enough to deny Cushing a dream send off.

The win leaves City a point ahead of closest challengers Chelsea, however the Citizens have played a game more than Emma Hayes’ side.

Chelsea maintained their impressive form by scoring eight goals past West Ham United in an 8-0 win over Matt Beard’s team.

Both Maren Mjelde and Beth England scored twice, while further goals from Scottish winger Erin Cuthbert, Sophie Ingle and substitutes Ramona Bachmann and Emily Murphy completed the scoring.

Casey Stoney’s Manchester United were denied all three points at Adams Park thanks to a Fara Williams penalty, which earned Reading a 1-1 draw with the Red Devils. Both sides remain fourth and sixth respectively in the WSL.

Elsewhere Brighton secured a crucial home win against Everton thanks to a goal from Aileen Whelan, who found the bottom right hand corner of the net against her former club.

This win means that the Seagulls are now six points clear of the relegation zone and are in ninth place.

The other two WSL matches, Liverpool versus Birmingham City and Tottenham Hotspur against Bristol City suffered postponements due to waterlogged pitches.

A Look ahead to this weekend’s fixtures

Sunday 9 February

Everton vs Liverpool (Kick-off 2pm)

Goodison Park is set to host its first Women Super League Merseyside Derby. The previous league meeting between the sides took place at Anfield for the first time last November where Everton secured a 1-0 win.

The Toffee’s recent home form in all competitions has been strong, as they have won three of their last five matches.

Everton’s Merseyside rivals meanwhile have also witnessed an upsurge in form having only lost one of their last five matches.  Although the Reds match with Birmingham City was postponed last weekend.

In terms of the head to head meetings both sides have now won two matches apiece, however the Toffees have won two of their last three encounters with their fierce rivals.

Prediction 1-1 draw

We are anticipating a closely fought encounter between these two sides, predicting that the spoils will be shared on this occasion. 

Arsenal vs Tottenham Hotspur (2pm)

The WSL fixture list has provided another famous English derby this weekend.

Joe Montemurro’s Arsenal side have endured a tricky time of it as of late, having lost to both their title rivals consecutively in the league.

Their North London rivals however are also going through a difficult spell, particularly away from home where they have lost four of their last five matches.

Prediction: Arsenal 2-0 win

Predicting the Gunners to get back to winning ways.

Birmingham City vs Brighton & Hove Albion (2pm)

Only one place separates these teams in the table ahead of this weekends matches.

Hope Powell’s Brighton got a big win against Everton last time out, though they are still to record a victory away from home in the WSL this season.

Birmingham meanwhile is also struggling for results, having lost four of their last five games.  Their last league win came against fellow strugglers Bristol City at the start of December.

The Seagulls have got a slight edge over their relegation rivals in terms of head-to head encounters having won two of their three meetings.

Prediction: Birmingham 2-1 win

We think due to the fact the pressure is on Birmingham to win this weekend that they will get the result they need.

Bristol City vs Reading (3pm)

This is a crucial game for the league’s bottom side, with two of their relegation rivals playing each other this weekend.

Bristol City are still to win a home league game in this campaign and they have also lost their last five matches in all competitions so the signs do not look good for Tanya Oxtoby’s team.

Reading also have enjoyed a lot of success against the West Midlands club having won five and drawn just once against them in the league.

Prediction: Reading 3-1 win

We believe that all signs seem to point to a relatively comfortable Reading victory.

West Ham United vs Manchester City (3pm)

The WSL leaders Manchester City begin life without Nick Cushing with a trip to East London.

Alan Mahon, previously the assistant manager, is taking interim charge until the end of the season and he will be determined to get off to a good start.

West Ham meanwhile are coming off the back of a heavy 8-0 defeat to City’s title rivals Chelsea, so they will be coming into this one looking to avoid further humiliation.

The reverse fixture between these sides resulted in 5-0 for Manchester City so it promises to be a tough afternoon for the Hammers.

Prediction: Manchester City 3-0 win

Manchester City has won all three previous encounters with West Ham in the league and we believe they will get the three points in this one to get Mahon off to a winning start.

Manchester United vs Chelsea (4:30pm) – BT Sport

The final game of the weekend promises to be an intriguing one.  Both of these teams met in the Continental Tyres Cup Semi-Final just a week ago with Chelsea coming out 1-0 winners on that occasion, setting up an all London final with Arsenal next month.

In the league’s reverse fixture the Blues also ran out 1-0 winners so all signs seem to point to another close encounter.

Casey Stoney’s side has also only lost twice in the league at home this season.

Prediction Chelsea 2-1 win

We believe this will be another close game with the title favourites Chelsea just coming away with the win.