The news about Phil Neville leaving the England Women’s National team a few months back shocked the world of the women’s game, especially after the great job the British coach did during this last 3 years. That’s when the FA came up with the brilliant, but strange idea of making an ad for applicants to become the new boss of the national side.
Now, after such a long wait, a total of 142 people have applied for the England head coach’s job, with more than half meeting the criteria, said Baroness Campbell, the Football Association’s head of Women’s Football. Anyhow, when the new coach is finally decided, Neville’s replacement will be in charge for Euro 2021 and may also lead Team GB at the Tokyo Olympics.
After that, The Lionesses will be targeting World Cup success in 2023, after they reached the semifinals on the previous edition.
“We’ve had an unbelievable response,” said Baroness Campbell, “I’m not judging it against what we’ve had in the past, it’s saying, ‘who has got the ability to take us right to the top of Everest?’
Applications closed at the end of June, with Baroness Campbell saying last month that there had been “very, very good interest from significantly experienced coaches”.
When Phil Neville announced his retirement, and his ideal possibility of joining club’s football on the men’s game, the FA targeted one experienced coach as his replacement, amid the application’s ad.
This time, there is an expectation that the role will be filled by one of the sport’s top coaches, with Jill Ellis, born in England, and who coached the United States to World Cup victories in 2015 and 2019. Meanwhile, Chelsea manager Emma Hayes, ex-Manchester City coach Nick Cushing and Manchester United’s Casey Stoney are among those in contention for the role.
The so many qualified candidates who have applied will clearly be a big boost for Baroness Campbell and the FA, whose appointment of Neville received criticism at the time, given he had neither applied nor had any previous managerial experience. In the end, the FA is understood to be confident of a world-class appointment, and England fans will expect nothing less, as they’ll be seeking to claim European and World Cup glory in the years to come.