Sky Blue FC has named Christy Holly head coach for the 2016 National Women’s Soccer League season, the club announced oh Wednesday.
Holly, who was an assistant coach with Sky Blue during the 2015 season, will take over a team that finished in eighth place in the NWSL standings with a record of 5-8-7.
“In considering candidates, we looked for someone who has the ability, passion, commitment, communication skills, and character to work with our players and lead our organization.” Sky Blue co-owner Steven Temares. “Christy’s character, leadership, and experience with our team and the league, together with his inter-personal skills and training capabilities, make him the right coach for Sky Blue.
The Derry, Ireland native brings more than a decade of coaching experience to the job; in addition to his duties working with the club in 2015, he was an assistant coach with both the Sky Blue FC Reserve Team and NCAA Division II school Georgian Court University in Lakewood, New Jersey. As a player, Holly featured at the professional level with Limavady United FC in the Irish Premier Division.
During his introductory conference call to the media, Sky Blue’s new head coach touched on some of the changes he will bring to the club for the upcoming season, including his ideal playing style.
“The style that we saw towards the end of last season is something that is quite consistent with my own philosophy,” said Holly. “I very much would prefer to play an exciting and progressive brand of soccer that involves us playing the majority of the game within the final third.”
Sky Blue have been without a head coach since October 14, 2015, after former head coach Jim Gabarra left the club to take the same position with the Washington Spirit. Gabarra finished his three-year stint with Sky Blue with a 24-22-20 regular season record and guided the team to the playoffs in 2013.
Holly, as announced earlier in the offseason, will continue to assume player personnel responsibilities for Sky Blue and will at the NWSL Draft in Baltimore on Friday, where the club holds five picks, including the third overall pick in the first round.