Sean Birchnall

Sean Birchnall Steps Down As Army Head Coach

Major Sean Birchnall (RLC) is leaving the Army shortly and will be relinquishing his position as Head Coach of the Army Men Representative team.

Sean will leave the role having won his inaugural 2018/19 Inter Services campaign in addition to lifting the Southern Counties Cup after defeating Jersey in the final in the Channel Islands. He was also in charge for the only Inter Service fixture of the 2020 competition; a 1-0 victory v RAF at Shrewsbury Town.


Unfortunately, the competition was then declared null and void due to the arrival of Covid-19. The 2021 tournament was also cancelled. During his tenure he also led the team during the historic Game of Remembrance v German Bundeswehr played at Nottingham Forest FC; his hometown club and the team he supports.


Sean arrived as Head Coach after a successful period leading the Royal Logistic Corps (RLC) to the Massey League title (three times) and Woolwich Cup (twice).


Prior to his appointment as Head Coach he had also experienced success as part of the coaching team for the 2018 Under 23 Inter Services success. Outside of the Army he has held various coaching roles, most recently at Southern League Winchester City.

Major Sean Birchnall statement:

“I have been involved with Service football for the past 31 years at various levels, both playing and coaching, and the pinnacle was being appointed Head Coach of the Army Men’s Team in 2018.

I inherited an extremely strong squad of players, which has evolved over the past three years, and they have shown on numerous occasions that they are the best squad in the Services. From the experienced to the newest player, they always gave me everything in training and fixtures and I would like to thank them for their support throughout my tenure. I assembled an experienced backroom team who were invaluable to me; each one had something different to offer and they all worked so well as a team; I will always remain indebted to them. 

The unseen work behind the scenes that the Army FA completes on behalf of the teams goes unnoticed until you are working directly with them. Their continued support to the Senior team and for permanently being on-hand to offer support when required is always appreciated.

Having coached teams that have won 1 x Inter Services, 1 x U23 Inter Services, 3 x Massey Leagues and 2 x Woolwich Cups, I now leave the Services extremely proud that I had the opportunity to be involved in the development of the Soldiers Game at every level. The decision to cancel the last two Inter Services competitions was difficult to take and leaves a large void in a plan which I will now not get the opportunity to see to completion.  

I wish my successor all the very best when they are appointed and will look forward to watching the Army Team as soon as Rep Football returns.”

The Board of Trustees member responsible for Mens representative football, Lt Col Alex Atherton paid his own tribute on behalf of the Army FA:

It has been a huge privilege and honour to have worked with Major Sean Birchnall (RLC) in Army Football and I would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank him for over three decades of selfless commitment, dedication and incredible service to the Soldiers’ Game. As we all know, Sean’s record as a coach and manager at both Corps and Army level is quite simply astonishing and he should be incredibly proud of his achievements. The bar has been set incredibly high and Sean leaves a lasting legacy of winning.

Sean, thank you for everything you have done for Army Football and our very best wishes to you and your family for the next exciting chapter.”

The recruitment process for the appointment of the new Army Mens Head Coach will be announced shortly via our website.