David Parker steps down as Birmingham City manager

After six years of service, David Parker has announced that he will leave his role at Birmingham City. The news comes as a surprise as the club have just finished a successful season in the top tier of FA Women's Super League, as they placed in fourth in addition to reaching the final of the 2016 Continental Cup Final where they held the invincible Manchester City to their, arguably, toughest game in the season.

The club announced that they will be fully joining forces with the men's side of the club, while this may sound like great news to the supporters of women's football, it is not the future that Parker can see himself slotting into. The manager said: "The club have recently completed a take-over and a new board to support the ladies side. During these developments I believe that the strategy and visions for the future does not reflect my personal thoughts and feel it is best for me to step away so the club can continue they see fit."

At 21 the Coach obtained his UEFA B Licence which allowed him to lead reserve squad, which he gained experience from in the US. In 2009 Parker joined the club to handle the running the U-16 centre of excellence, just one year later he moved up to the reserve squad where he was a huge hit. It was there that he won the FA Women's Premier League Reserve title in his first season and was promoted to the first team soon after - becoming the youngest manager in English football history at 26.

He almost had the same impact in the senior squad as Birmingham City lad the FA WSL for the vast majority of the 2011 season but were pipped to the title by Arsenal Ladies on the penultimate day. The Blues continued to blossom under Parker, in 2012 they won their first FA Cup, in 2014 they reached the semi-finals of the Women's Champions League and also made three Conti Cup finals during his spell at the club. The 32 year old also managed to win some awards for himself becoming the longest serving WSL manager and being named 2014's WSL Manager of the Year.

Parker statement

Birmingham City's Twitter account broke the news while Parker himself followed up with a heartfelt statement, he said: "It is a sad occasion personally as the past six years have brought unparalleled success to the Club creating some wonderful memories that will last a lifetime.

"A legacy has been built and I hope that continues as the Club will always remain close to my heart and it was always a place I could call home with family by my side," the coach added.

Initially he thanked his staff in the statement but then later confirmed that they too will be leaving. The statement read: "There are so many people to thank over this journey, but Marcus Bignot, Steve Shipway, Tim Andrews and Mike Maybury deserve a special mention for their continued support and guidance to me over the course of my tenure at the Club."

He continued, extending his thanks to the wider City community: "Also a huge thank you to all the players and staff I have worked with during my time and the dedicated support of the fans. You have made everything possible by believing in our dreams and visions as we made our mark domestically and in Europe."

Finally, the former manager closed his statement by saying: "I will now take time to refocus on the next step in my career and find an opportunity that best fits my ambition and drives for the future." Meanwhile, Birmingham City Ladies are set to make an announcement regarding the structure of the first team management in the coming days.