VANCOUVER, BC – Vancouver Whitecaps FC announced today that Emma Humphries has been named full-time Whitecaps FC girls program director. As part of her role, she will oversee all girls programs at the club, including continuing as head coach of the Girls Elite Regional Excel Centre (REX) program in partnership with BC Soccer, and as Whitecaps FC girls academy centre director. Whitecaps FC also announced that Natalie Lawrence has joined the club as assistant to Humphries with a core focus on the growth and development of academy centres and supporting the Girls Elite REX program.
“I am honoured to be given this position at a club which is forward thinking and fully behind the development of the women’s game in this country” said Humphries. “I have enjoyed the progress made to date and I am excited about driving the overall women’s strategy forward.”
Humphries, a UEFA B License coach, joined the club in January as Girls Elite REX assistant coach before taking over as interim head coach in March. Prior to joining Whitecaps FC, Humphries previously worked as women’s National development manager in her native New Zealand under current Canadian women’s national team head coach John Herdman and Canada Soccer women’s EXCEL U-14/U-17 director Beverly Priestman. Prior to joining Whitecaps FC this year, Humphries coached with Mountain United FC in the EA SPORTS BC Soccer Premier League, as well as the BC Soccer High Performance Program.
In her playing days, Humphries represented the New Zealand women’s national team coached by Herdman at the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup, and also at the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup. Collegiately, Humphries played at California State Fullerton and later Coastal Carolina in NCAA Division I.
Lawrence comes to Vancouver after spending the past four years working with New Zealand Football in a Women’s Football Development position. As part of her role, Lawrence achieved significant growth in her region as well as the implementation of talent development programs. Specifically, the Talent Acceleration Programme in which she was responsible for implementing player models for elite women’s football in New Zealand, and to develop and deliver training sessions for girls aged 13 to 20 and identified as national team prospects. Lawrence also worked with Capital Football and in 2014 served as the Head Coach of the ASB Women’s National League senior side.
In her role with Whitecaps FC, Lawrence will work closely with Humphries in both the Girls Elite REX and Academy Centre programs. Additionally, she will work to build relationships with youth clubs in the soccer community.
“I am very excited to join Whitecaps FC and help grow the girls’ arm of the club and to support the development within British Columbia,” said Lawrence. “There is an immense amount of work that has already been done and I hope to bring alive some specific women’s development strategies to assist in driving the game forward in terms of both local coaches and players.”
For more information on the Whitecaps FC Girls Elite REX program in partnership with BC Soccer, visit whitecapsfc.com/girlselite. The Vancouver Girls Academy program starts on Sunday, September 12 at SFU. Registration information can be found at whitecapsfc.com/vanacademy.