Sky Blue FC has found their new head coach. On Wednesday, the club announced that New Jersey-native Denise Reddy will return to her home state to take the reins in Piscataway.
“Words cannot describe how excited and honored I am to be the Head Coach of Sky Blue FC,” Reddy said in the club’s official release. “This is where my coaching career started, and it feels great to be back in Jersey and part of such a professional organization. I am looking forward to starting this journey with such top-class players and cannot wait to get on the pitch.”
— Sky Blue FC (@SkyBlueFC) November 15, 2017
Reddy has a UEFA Pro License, and most recently served as the assistant coach of the Washington Spirit. She has previous head coaching experience in New Jersey, with USL W-League side Jersey Sky Blue in 2007. The next year, she joined the coaching staff of the Chicago Red Stars during the WPS era, before heading to Europe.
After starting as an assistant coach with Linköpings FC in Sweden in 2011, Reddy then assumed head coaching duties of that club, before moving on to B93/HIK/Skjold in Denmark for two years, then back to Sweden for another two years with Vittsjö GIK.
In her own playing days, Reddy played for 11 years in Sweden with Umeå IK and Malmö FF, including captaining Malmö for seven seasons and a UEFA Champions League semifinals appearance in 2004.
Reddy is also no stranger to Yurcak Field, home of Sky Blue FC. She played her college soccer for Rutgers University.
On Sky Blue FC’s conference call with media announcing her hire, Reddy said that the team’s roster is young and exciting, and full of quality. She promised, “I’m also looking forward to growing our fanbase with an on-field product that everyone can be proud of. I’ve heard nothing but good things about the Cloud 9 supporters group, and the work they do to build the supporting culture at the matches.”
In addition to her responsibilities as an assistant coach for the Spirit, Reddy also served as the technical director of the Spirit Academy – Baltimore Armour U.S. Soccer Girls’ Development Academy program.
“When Denise came to the Spirit, we were all aware of and supported her ambition to become a head coach in the NWSL,” said Spirit head coach and general manager Jim Gabarra, after the club announced her departure. “She has been a tremendous resource for our club the past two seasons and instrumental to our success. This is a great opportunity for her, and we wish her the best of luck with Sky Blue.”
Right now it’s too early for a lot of the finer details of what Reddy has in store for Sky Blue, from tactics to the 2018 NWSL College Draft strategy, to even her own coaching staff. “Right now, our preparations have already begun for the 2018 season on all fronts,” Reddy said on the call. “We just had to get this announcement out, and then I’m going to start – along with the organization – put together my coaching staff.”
Tony Novo, Sky Blue’s President and GM, spoke highly of Reddy’s experience in the team’s official release. “She has been a part of the fabric that is New Jersey soccer for many years, and she also brings a coaching outlook that holds various elements from throughout the world. We feel strongly that Denise is the perfect candidate to assume leadership of Sky Blue FC, and we are very excited to see what the future holds for her.”