David Mallin has looked back at his 12 years as chairman at Huddersfield Town Women FC.
David stood down in June but remains club secretary, a role he combined with being chairman. Alison Bamforth, recently in charge of Covid-19 protocols at the club, has taken over as chairman.
A club that rose out of the amateur ranks now plays in the women’s national league Northern Premier Division, which is only a few steps down from the high profile women’s Super League.
David, 60, has been on the club’s board for 20 years, becoming chairman in 2009. He said: “I am very proud of where the club is today. We have brought it a long way from when I first got involved.
“I am proud of what I have achieved whilst being chairman. I would say we have improved on the field and off it too.
“I stepped down in June and Alison took control. It was the right time for me to step away and Alison has some fresh ideas she wants to bring to the table. I will still be involved as secretary but I think it’s good we have a woman as a chairman.”
The club changed its name from Huddersfield Town Ladies to Huddersfield Town Women in a rebrand in 2019 and started to build closer ties with Huddersfield Town FC.
David said of the relationship: “We have got to the stage now where we are in dialogue with the people at Town more and more. The relationship is getting better and we definitely want to improve it more if we can.”
Back in 2011, just two years into David’s tenure as chairman, the Terriers won the league and cup double and gained promotion to the Northern Women’s Combination League under the management of Mickey Booth. Mickey had been at the club for 14 years and stepped down as first team manager at the end of the 2012-13 season.
David then appointed Glen Preston as manager, and Ashley Vickers and Fraser Green as his assistants for the 2013-14 campaign.
In their first season they won the Northern Women’s Combination league championship by a margin of eight points, gaining promotion to the FAWNL Northern Division.
On winning those titles David said: “Those were great memories, and it was a proud year winning the league and cup double, especially so soon into my tenure. Another huge moment was when we won the combination league. To be playing at the level we are now we have done very well.”
Promotion to the Championship is an ambition for the future but the investment needed is beyond the club’s finances at the present time.
David added: “We did have the opportunity to get promoted last season. The league based tables on how clubs had performed in the previous two years.
“Our form had been so good that we finished second. Sunderland had finished first and they had just come under new ownership with a lot of money so they could afford the finances needed to play in the Championship. You are talking hundreds of thousands and, in some cases, millions of pounds.
“We as a club aren’t in that financial sphere and whilst the players would love to test themselves at that level it’s a huge gamble for the club.
“Our aim is to win this league and see what happens. It’s not a ‘say never’ to play in the league above but we need to be happy about the financial situation.”
Those finances have, like all clubs, been hit over the past 18 months with the impact of the pandemic. The club is financially stable but it was the toughest period in David’s chairmanship.
“There’s no doubt the last 18 months has been hard, not just from things happening on the pitch but off it too,” he said. “It’s been stressful but hopefully we’re through the worst.”
Looking ahead David sees a bright future under Alison’s stewardship.
“The club is in a good place,” he said. “We lost our head coach Jordan Wimpenny for personal reasons at the start of the season but Steve Appleton has taken over. I’ve known Steve for years and know what a good job he can do.
“I’m excited to see where Alison takes things and I know the club is in great hands. The future is bright for our club.”