Having sacked manager James Marrs after he guided them to a top of the table finish – and the Southern spot in the WPL play-off match to determine promotion to WSL 2 – the Seagulls called upon Regional Talent Club Technical Director and former Brighton midfielder, Parris to take the helm for the final. After seeing off Northern champions Sporting Club Albion, Brighton earned promotion but still found themselves manager-less for their upcoming test in the second tier of women’s football in England.
Seven months later, with the Spring Series looming ever closer the Seagulls are still no closer to installing a permanent first team manager but have agreed a deal with Parris, who will continue on with his duties as RTC technical director as well as taking charge throughout the one-off Spring Series. Parris will be assisted by Amy Merricks with whom he worked alongside during the run-up to the play-offs in May, after Parris departs his interim role Merricks is set to stay on as the permanent first-team assistant manager.
Happy to have Merricks by his side for the Spring Series, Parris has described the former development squad title-winning coach as “a great appointment” and a “fabulous coach” with an fine “knowledge of the game”.
When speaking to the clubs website after the announcement, loyal-Seagull Parris said he was “more than happy” to help when presented with the opportunity of taking change for the mini-league, already looking forward to the challenge that lays ahead. Viewing the Spring Series as an indication as to how they’ll perform in a full league season, Parris and his players will be looking to gauge how well they measure up in the next tier.
Already planning for a busy start to the year, Parris will be meeting with his squad before Christmas, insuring everyone is on the same page and ready for what’s in store in the new year. Hoping to “hit the ground running” and continue to build on the “momentum” of last season when they enjoyed huge successes in the league, pleased to have kept most of the players who earned their promotion.