Millwall Lionesses are delighted to announce the appointment of Jack Wheeler as the club's new first-team manager.
Wheeler joins Millwall having accrued vast experience in the women's game, something that made him a stand-out candidate from the very beginning of the recruitment process. A current UEFA A licence candidate, Jack's wealth of knowledge of what it takes to succeed in the women's game and at this level is second to none. Having previously worked for Gillingham, Bromley, Kent FA and most recently London Seaward, he has over eight years of coaching and managing experience at an elite women’s level.
It was during his time at Gillingham, first as assistant manager (2012-14), then as First-Team Manager (2015-19) that he led Gills to the FA Women’s Premier League South East Division One title in the 2016/17 season. Alongside that triumph, Gills would also go on to win the Kent Cup in 2016/17 and 2018/19. It was during that very successful 2016/17 season that Jack was voted Manager of the Month for the FA Women’s Premier League (March 2017).
“I am really excited to be joining Millwall Lionesses," said Jack. "The club has a great history but, importantly, really ambitious plans for the future. The opportunity to lead the team and help the club try to reach its goals is something I am relishing. I’m looking forward to meeting all the squad, taking my first few sessions and bringing the group together so we can gather some good results and push up the table.
Being a life-long Millwall fan, Wheeler explains he has some added incentive in his new role: “Millwall means a lot to me. I’m a lifelong fan of the football club and I don’t think there are many higher honours or achievements in the game than managing or working at the club you’ve supported. It is really special to be appointed, I hope my passion and enthusiasm for Millwall is clear for all to see. I will work incredibly hard for this football club to bring success and will build a squad and environment that people can be proud of, want to be a part of and join us on the journey, because it’s going to be a good one.”
This appointment is one made with the long-term in mind, knowing that Jack has a history of building teams and promoting from youth ranks - something that Jack echoed.
"My vision is to help push the club higher up the pyramid and support the work we’re doing to become an elite outfit. I have lots of experience working higher up the pyramid so know where we need to be in terms of our standards in matchday routine and training too. I’m a huge advocate for a good player pathway, which we have in place already here, so I will be championing opportunities to give young players experience and make the club a cohesive unit. I’d love to see our attendances grow and know the role the team has to play to produce exciting, positive football to entice supporters to watch us."
Millwall Community Trust CEO & Lionesses' Chairman, Sean Daly, expressed his delight at bringing someone in with such calibre and previous success, by saying: "It became apparent quite quickly after talking to Jack that he had all the attributes to take The Lionesses back to where we feel they belong in the women's pyramid. This appointment is one for now, to get the season back on track, but Jack has a track record in building teams and challenging for titles. That's something we look forward to seeing here under his stewardship.”
The Lionesses are also pleased to announce that Alex Russell and Greg McAlinney will remain at the club to form Jack's coaching team.
The Lionesses' committee would like to put on record our gratitude for the job they have done during this interim period and we are pleased they will form part of Jack's vision for the club.