Ex-Sunderland Ladies boss secures return to club football

Mick Mulhern
Mick Mulhern

Former Sunderland Ladies manager Mick Mulhern has returned to football in the region and joined Northern League Division One side Jarrow Roofing with a remit that heads up the club’s training department.

Having stepped down as manager of the Lady Black Cats last summer due to being unable to commit to full-time coaching after guiding Sunderland to the FA Super League 1, Mulhern has immediately challenged his new players ahead of the new season to also win some silverware.

I like a challenge and we have long-term targets which I believe can be achieved with hard work.

Mick Mulhern

And the Boldon-based boss has used one of the region’s other non-league clubs as inspiration.

He said: “The recent FA Vase Wembley victory by North Shields should be an inspiration to the players at Roofing.

“North Shields have shown it can be done by teams from our league, so my question to the Roofing players would be ‘why can’t it be us?’”

Having guided his former club to seven league titles, a League Cup, won three FA Women’s Manager of the Year awards and helped develop more than 20 players to achieve international caps at various levels, Mulhern maintains a desire to win.

And the potential at Roofing to be challenging for the league and the FA Vase in particular excited him when he made the decision to return to a club.

Yet there’s a healthy dose of realism and awareness of the challenge ahead.

Mulhern added: “I’m not naive enough to think things will be easy.

“But I like a challenge and we have long-term targets which I believe can be achieved with hard work.

“This is a tough league with a great deal of quality, but it would be great if Roofing are challenging for the league and making an impact in the cup competitions.

“Whatever happens the key is to keep moving forwards and set realistic goals.”

Since stepping down as Sunderland manager, Mulhern has remained in the game by being assistant manager of the England Women’s Under-23 side as they competed in a tournament in La Manga in Spain and the Nordic Cup in Norway, while he has also completed his UEFA A Licence.

“It was great working with, and learning from, the England staff, several of who are currently working with Premier League clubs,” he said. “That education is priceless.”

And it’s that continuation of developing his learning curve yet further that is firmly in Mulhern’s mind.

He added: “At this point in time I’m just looking to coach close to home on a regular basis and continue learning.”

Roofing finished eighth in the Northern League Division One table in their first season back in the top flight.

Mulhern will be working alongside chairman and manager Richie McLoughlin, who founded the Boldon-based club in 1987.