The Orlando Pride coaching staff is finally solidified after Wednesday’s announcement that Head Coach Seb Hines has named Giles Barnes and Paul Crichton to the team staff.
Barnes, who served as Hines’ interim assistant last year, takes the full-time role in 2023. The former Orlando City forward played in 34 games for the Lions during the 2017 season, netting three goals and adding two assists.
He returned to Orlando in 2020, where he began working as a coach for FC Highland, a local Orlando youth soccer club. Since then, he has earned his U.S. Soccer National B Coaching License and become Boys Director Of Competitions at FC Highland. Barnes and Hines have also known each other since they were playing in England at 13 years of age.
“Last season Giles came in as an assistant midway through the year, and the players immediately respected him and bought into the new identity we’ve been striving for. Giles brings a high level of knowledge of the game through his playing career, having represented some of the best teams domestically and in Europe. Bringing him on board and sharing his lessons, from both playing coaching, will only elevate our player development and keep growing identity.”
“I was proud of what we, as a group, were able to accomplish as a staff and team in such a short period of time to end last season. I am excited to be back and to be a part of setting the tone from the beginning, with a full season ahead,” Barnes said. “We have a desire and drive as a staff and a group of talented players who are hungry to bring success to this club. We will work hard every day to do whatever it takes to give the Orlando Pride fans a team that represents them and this city.”
Crichton, who spent last season with the NWSL’s Washington Spirit, started his career also in England, playing over 500 matches with teams across all levels of English football, including the Premier League. Featuring for teams like Norwich City, Aston Villa, West Bromwich Albion, and Burnley.
The former goalkeeper turned to coaching after his playing days ended and, for the last 16 years, has coached across England and the US. After moving to the United States to open a soccer school, he was brought on as the Head Goalkeeper Coach at the USL Championship’s Miami FC. Originally joining the staff when the club was still in NPSL, he remained on staff as they made the jump to the USL Championship in 2020. Most recently, Crichton served as the Goalkeeper and interim Assistant Coach for the Washington Spirit during the 2021 and 2022 seasons, helping lead goalkeeper Aubrey Kingsbury to the 2021 NWSL Goalkeeper of the Year award and guiding the club to the 2021 NWSL Championship.
“We’re excited to welcome Paul because he is not only a great person, but he brings a different perspective to the game that will help guide us this season. With myself being a young head coach, he offers a great history of experience coaching at the professional level,” Hines said. “He has an extensive background playing at a high level, too, and can relate to our goalkeepers through his time on the field. Paul understands how to win an NWSL championship and how to get the best out of his players. We’re excited to use that experience to help us bring championships to the city of Orlando.”
“I’m very grateful to Haley [Carter], Seb, and everyone at the Club for this opportunity. Looking at the group of players that we have, I’m thrilled to be a part of the process of developing this roster, namely a very exciting and talented goalkeeper unit,” Crichton said. “I have great belief in what Seb and the rest of the staff are building here in Orlando and am looking forward to seeing all that we accomplish in 2023 and beyond.”
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