Coombe named WHS girls soccer coach

Although she’s only been in the United States one year, Freya Coombe knew enough about the local scene to know the history behind Wilton girls soccer.

So when the chance came to coach the Wilton team, she was ready to throw her hat into the ring.

“When I saw the post advertised, I was really keen to apply, given the history and the great group of athletes at the school,” said Coombe, who was hired as the Warriors’ new coach this week. “Kristine Lilly played there, so it’s exciting to link up with a school with such a great history and all of the state championships that it’s won.”

Coombe replaces John Salvatore, who stepped down in February after two years. She is the program’s fourth head coach in five years.

Since moving to the area last April, Coombe has worked as the director of coaching for Everton America’s girls program, whose players range in age from U-8 to U-18. The Norwalk-based program provides elite coaching to area players, and is the U.S. affiliate of Everton Football Club, one of the most successful clubs in the history of English soccer. Everton America CT supports more than 750 players through camps and street soccer to its junior and youth academy, developmental, premier and regional teams.

Coombe, who grew up near London, got her start playing club soccer at the age of 14, and played for several women’s clubs in England. Before coming to America, she coached with Reading FC of the English Women’s Super League for eight years.

During that time she was employed as a sport scientist, technical director and head coach for the development squad. In addition to her coaching, Coombe was a senior lecturer in sports science and coaching at Buckinghamshire University.

Coombe hopes to bring her wealth of experience and knowledge to the Wilton team next fall.

“I believe in getting the ball down and playing good soccer. It’s important that we’re able to be flexible in our style of play so we’re not too predictable,” she said. “I’m really, really pleased to have gotten the post. I’ve already met some really great people and I’m looking forward to getting started.”