OXFORD United Women have revealed former Aston Villa Women assistant Sam Rose as their new boss, ending an almost three-month search to replace Liam Gilbert.

Rose, who has also worked in the men’s game at the academies of Nottingham Forest and Burton Albion, becomes the first ever full-time manager of the U’s Women side.

He took his first training session with the squad on Tuesday night and will be in charge for this Sunday’s game at Woodley United Ladies in the first round of the FA Cup.

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Rose said: “It’s an opportunity professionally and to be part of an exciting project moving forward.

“I think the potential is clear to see and it’s something I’m excited to be a part of.

“I’ve watched games and done my homework. I’ll be letting the players show me what they’re good at, and they’ve got that opportunity to stay in the team or find their way into the team.”

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On the role being full-time, he said: “It’s a statement from the club, and I was looking to move into a full-time management position, so it’s certainly been the thing that’s attracted me to the club.

“It helps you set your stall out with regards to the type of players you’re going to recruit, and build that level of professionalism that’s hopefully going to underpin future success.”

His time in the Women’s Super League with Villa saw him work alongside high-profile players such as England international Rachel Daly and Swiss forward Alisha Lehmann.

Herald Series: Rachel Daly playing for England at this year’s World CupRachel Daly playing for England at this year’s World Cup (Image: Zac Goodwin/ PA Wire)

Herald Series: Alisha Lehmann warms up prior to an Aston Villa game this seasonAlisha Lehmann warms up prior to an Aston Villa game this season (Image: Jacob King/ PA Wire)

Rose said: “I’ve seen what the top of the game looks like and I’ve worked with those types of players.

“Having had that opportunity to work with a group of international players that competed at the World Cup or won the Euros for their respective countries is a privilege.

“It was a challenge, but one that I really took on. Seeing what the top of the game looks like, and the processes off the pitch, is what I’m going to be looking to bring here.”

U’s Women general manager Gemma Sims added: “We didn’t want to appoint someone for the sake of having somebody in. We made it clear at the beginning that we wanted to make sure it was the right person.

“Moving it to a full-time role allowed us to get that better calibre of candidate. Sam is that person we’re looking for. He’s got that experience of the development of individuals and a team, and he’s also got that Super League experience.

“With it being a full-time role, he can put so much effort and focus into individual players, the units, how we play and how we can develop.

“Just to have that extra time and resources is huge for where we want to go in the next two or three years.”