Tommy Hewitt set to take over as women’s manager

Tommy Hewitt will become the new manager of the Sligo Rovers women’s team next month.

Hewitt will take over from Steve Feeney following his decision to step away the role for work and family reasons  

The Athlone native was voted SSE Airtricity Manager of the Year in the Women’s Premier Division in 2022 after leading Athlone Town to second in the League and runners-up in the FAI Cup.

He has served as assistant manager with the Athlone Town men’s team and was also head coach with the Irish Defence Forces team at the Military World Games.

He spent four seasons with Athlone’s women side before opting to resign last June. 

Speaking this afternoon he said: “I’m very pleased to become manager of Sligo Rovers next month.

“I spoke to the committee and the staff at the club when the opportunity arose. The vision and plan Sligo Rovers have for the women’s area of the club was very impressive.

“First and foremost I want to commend Steve Feeney. When he took over at the formation of the team, I was immediately on the phone to him to wish him well and offer any advice that I could and have done during his time. He has done an absolutely fantastic job over the two seasons.

“The foundations that have been laid are another reason why the job is so appealing.  

“I’ve always had the hunger to return to management. I think the break has served me well. I want to build on what has been done already and try to push it on further. For me there is no reason why Sligo Rovers can’t climb the table next season.”

Hewitt retired from playing at 25 due to injury but did play against the club in the 90s to give him some experience of Sligo Rovers.

“I’ve always found The Showgrounds a special place. There’s a really family vibe to the club. You walk in and you feel the history. The club is very well organised, open and always willing to help. They want to back the manager whether it’s the men’s or women’s team. I can see that already because they’ve been very encouraging to try to be as successful as we can in 2024.”

Hewitt had a very fruitful spell with Athlone as manager, becoming their first-ever manager when the team was formed and went on challenge for the two major trophies last year

They won the President’s Cup at the start of this season.

Looking at the Women’s Premier Division overall, he said: “There has been rapid growth and it is exciting times be part of the league.

“There are 11 teams and I feel privileged to be managing a club like Sligo Rovers. It’s a real honour to lead it.

“I know the importance of building on the squad we have here and I will be doing my utmost to do that. That will be my first goal.

“I attend a lot of games in the region so I have seen some matches and I’ve been doing as much research as I can since accepting the role. I will continue to do that when the team play their final two matches, watching on from the stands.”

Steve Feeney, who chairman Tommy Higgins paid tribute to this morning as he stepped away for family reasons, will formally depart on Sunday 11 November. 

Again the club wish to thank Steve for helping in the period of transition.

Higgins added: “I’m delighted to welcome Tommy Hewitt to Sligo Rovers. Tommy’s pedigree within the league speaks for itself and we feel he is the ideal candidate for the position. 

“We will be supporting Tommy and the players as much as we can to continue to develop the women’s team. He shares our ambition for women’s team but also to develop young players through our academy and he will work with Conor O’Grady on that. I think the 2024 season has great promise with Tommy and the players.”