The vocal public response to the appointment of Phil Neville as the new manager of the England Women’s Team is indicative of just how invested the nation now is in the success of the Lionesses.
The profile of the national team, and rapid growth of the women’s game in recent years, is largely down to the significant increased investment and focus on the women’s game by the FA which is to be welcomed.
That said, the Women’s Sport Trust is disappointed at the apparent lack of transparency and process in the appointment of Phil Neville as the new Manager for the England Women’s Football Team.
Our National Women’s Team deserve the very best coach available to fulfil their enormous potential and inspire millions of men and women.
To see a high profile, former professional footballer virtually parachuted in to such a significant role in football without the level of experience required, undermines the coaching pathway and will be a blow to hundreds of football coaches, both male and female, currently working towards their badges at all levels.
Despite the huge growth in the women’s game in recent years, this appointment has also highlighted that we still don’t have enough female coaches at the highest level.
We are also saddened by Phil Neville’s historical tweets and the lack of comment about this from the FA. In the age of MeToo and TimesUp, all individuals and organisations must be more aware of past sexist behaviour and respond to it appropriately.
The strangest silver lining to this matter is that the population now seem to care about who is appointed manager of our women’s national team – something that reflect rising profile and value of women’s sport.
Women’s Sport Trust