Real Bedford announce MK Dons boss as new Ladies manager

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Charlie Bill is unveiled as the new manager of Real Bedford Ladies in May 2024
Charlie Bill is the new Real Bedford Ladies manager after six years in charge of MK Dons Image: Real Bedford FC

After winning an unprecedented treble at the weekend, Real Bedford Ladies have wasted no time in naming their new permanent manager, Charlie Bill from Milton Keynes Dons.

Bill had announced his intention to leave MK Dons Women in April having led his team to fifth in the Women’s National League Premier Division South and brings considerable experience at Step Three to McMullen Park.

Real Bedford will compete at Step Four next season after beating Luton Town to the Eastern Region Women’s Premier League.

Interim manager, Georgia Clarke, who carried on with the Ladies after the mid-season departure of Dean Perrett has stepped down after leading the Pirates to a fantastic treble, completed on Sunday with a 4-2 victory against Wroxham in the League Cup final.

Read: Real Bedford hold on to beat Wroxham and win historic treble

Real Bedford secured promotion to Step Four by winning the Eastern Region Women’s Football League by six points over Luton Town and added to their trophy haul, beating AFC Dunstable in the County Cup final followed by Sunday’s Wroxham win.

Bill will be joined by Mark Dass, Laura Bright, Beth Adams and Alec Miller who complete the new look backroom staff as Real aim for another promotion after a near perfect season.

A new challenge after eight years

Bill has spent eight years at MK Dons, with six as first team manager, beginning his first team managerial career as a 22-year old but now joins the ranks during an exciting time at McMullen Park as Real Bedford look for another promotion.

Speaking to the Bedford Independent, Charlie immediately noted the equality of the game at McMullen Park.

“I was attracted to Peter’s ambitions; he made me feel wanted from the first conversation and this is an incredibly exciting project.

“I truly believe we can create something special across the next few years. It’s an exceptional feeling knowing the club have the same drive and focus for both the Men’s and Women’s side. 

“We want to compete at the top end of the league and fight for promotion. In Step Four, with only one going up we know that’s going to be tough, but with the hard work behind the scenes I truly believe we can build a squad capable to win the league.”

Quizzed further on any transfer targets he had in mind, Charlie was quick to point out that it was character over names that were more important.

“With it being day two in the role, those conversations are ongoing. We are looking to bring some big players in but they must be the right characters. The hard work starts now to build a squad that will play the front footed, exciting football we want to play.”

Real Bedford Ladies celebrate a league title
Real Bedford lift the Eastern Region Women’s Premier Division title Image: Real Bedford FC / ‘X’

Real Bedford Chairman, Peter McCormack commented on what is an ambitious appointment for the club.

“Charlie and his team bring the experience and expertise necessary to support and drive forward the the clubs ambitions.

“We will provide Charlie all the resources necessary to build a competitive squad as we enter the National League.”

Long term project

The ambition on show is obvious and McCormack is not the type to settle for one treble. He will be after another one.

In attracting a top Step Three coach to McMullen Park, Real Bedford Ladies are well set to challenge for Step Four glory and will no doubt go out and get the players required to do it.

There are also additional features coming to the Women’s game at McMullen Park with every home game live streamed, and while the growing international fan base gains traction, the likes of Tash Fensome and Gemma Croucher will be able to showcase their talents via YouTube.

Preparations for the new season across the club are well underway and pre-season will soon come knocking as both the Men’s and the Women’s side begin another quest for promotion.