FORMER Southend United boss Steve Tilson is keen to help women’s football continue to develop in this country after being named the new manager of C&K Basildon Ladies.

Tilson has been promoted from head coach to take control of the Premier League Southern Division newcomers following John Hinz’s decision to step down.

And, after England’s recent third place finish at the Women’s World Cup in Canada, Tilson hopes to be able to bring the club to the forefront of south-east Essex football.

“It was a fantastic achievement from the girls at the World Cup and it certainly won’t have done the women’s game any harm at all in this country,” said Tilson.

“I think the matches gave the women’s game great exposure and it’s important that everyone tries to build on that now so that it can continue to get more attention and interest.

“I enjoy working with the girls and it’s not really an awful lot different to working with men if I’m honest especially as I put myself under a lot of pressure to do well.

“I’m very pleased to be the new manager of C & K Basildon Ladies but I’ve been doing all the coaching for the last two or three years anyway, so I’m not sure an awful lot is really going to change.

“But it would be great if we could raise the club’s profile and get more people along to the matches because it is a very good standard we play at.”

In fact, following their rapid rise up the divisions, C K Basildon Ladies will be rubbing shoulders with the likes of West Ham United, Tottenham Hotspur, Cardiff City and Queens Park Rangers next season.

And Tilson is looking forward to the challenge ahead.

“We’re under no illusions and we know it’s going to be an extremely tough division against some very good teams,” said Tilson, who won back-to-back promotions during a seven-year stint in charge of Southend before his dismissal in 2010.

“There will be a lot more travelling involved as well and we’re looking to consolidate our position at this level.

“However, at the same time it gives the girls a good chance to test themselves against stronger sides and we’re all really excited about.”

Tilson has named former Blues youth team coach Danny Greaves as his assistant manager while former Barnet shot-stopper Lee Harrison remains the club’s goalkeeping coach.

And Tilson revealed C&K Basildon Ladies owner Peter King is keen to take the team to the very top.

“We have a very ambitious chairman and he wants to take the club into the top division,” said the Benfleet-based Tilson, whose side are currently two leagues below the highest division.

“That’s what we’re all working towards but right now we’re just thinking about next season and making sure we can build on our recent success.”

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