It’s disappointing that the FA have opted for a coach who has no experience of the women’s game or working with female footballers. This feels like a kick in the teeth to the team, who are at the top of their game and performing so well, and shows scant regard for the coaching pathway that others have to progress through in order to make it to the top.
Mo Marley has done a fantastic job coaching the Lionesses up to this point, but there are not enough female coaches like her in football or sport more generally. According to UK Coaching, just 17% of coaches in the UK are female and the national governing bodies of sport need to urgently address this situation. We are currently working with the sector to better understand the myriad challenges and barriers that women face working in sport, in order to redress the balance. Women need to be better represented from the field of play to the boardroom with influence at all levels. Only then will we see a change in the number of women and girls participating and working in sport.
We wish Phil well in his new role and hope the Lionesses continue to excel and inspire the next generation of female footballers.