A former PE teacher who taught at an Aylesbury secondary school has been named as the under 18 coach at a Premier League club.

Lydia Bedford, who recently held roles at the Football Association, Leicester City Women, and Arsenal Women, will now take charge of the Brentford squad for the 2023/24 season.

Prior to her move into coaching, she worked at the Mandeville Upper School in Aylesbury between September 2009 and May 2013.

Her appointment has made her the highest profile name woman to take charge of a professional boys/men's team, with her assistant being the former Wycombe Wanderers striker, Jon-Paul Pittman.

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The 36-year-old departed from his position as a youth coach at Forest Green Rovers to work alongside the ex-PE teacher.  

Pittman had two separate spells with the Chairboys between 2009 and 2011 and 2013 and 2014, where he played 93 times and scored 17 goals.

Discussing Bedford’s appointment as head coach of Brentford’s under 18 side, as well as the addition of Pittman, Brentford FC director of football Phil Giles said: “I’m really pleased that we’ve managed to attract such talented coaches as Lydia and Jon-Paul to our under-18 team for next year.

“It’s an important time for the under-18 team as next season will be the first where they’ve operated out of the Robert Rowan Performance Centre and integrating them smoothly alongside the first team and B team will be essential.

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“We undertook an extensive recruitment process for these roles.

“Lydia and Jon-Paul were the two best candidates, and thankfully we were able to finalise their recruitment to the staff.

“I’m sure they will excel, and we all look forward to working with them through pre-season and beyond.”