The woman who worked with the Lionesses as Phil Neville’s deputy for two years has accepted the position of head coach in North America.
Beverly Priestman, a former England assistant, has been named manager of the Canada Women’s National Team.
Priestman has stepped down from her job as head coach of England U18 to take up the job, and her time with Canada is expected to begin officially on November 1.
Following a review of the women’s technical division, the 34-year-old took charge of the Lionesses’ U18s in early September, having spent the previous two years serving with the senior squad.
In 2018, Priestman was appointed Phil Neville’s No 2 and supported his England side move to the semi-finals of the FIFA Women’s World Cup a year later.
In North America, where she originally won her coaching stripes under the present manager of the Canada men’s team, John Herdman, she will now embark on a new challenge.
Before taking a job on the men’s team in 2018, Herdman was in charge of the women’s set-up for seven years, and Priestman worked as his assistant as Canada played at World Cup 2015 and Olympic Games 2016.
After being revealed in her new job on Wednesday, the former Lionesses coach said her final goodbyes to her Football Association colleagues, adamant that she could not miss the opportunity to fulfill one of her longest-held coaching dreams.
‘’I have been extensively at the FA and have worked closely with Phil Neville and the senior team over a two-year stretch, during which we have been able to reach the half-finals of the Women’s World Cup,’’ Priestman said.
I instinctively realized it was something I wanted to do when the chance to lead Canada Women was on the table. It fulfills so many of my career ambitions to have the potential to return to collaborate with some wonderful people and guide a senior national team to two Olympic Games and the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
For their unwavering support and empathy, I would like to thank the FA. From my very first talk with Sue Campbell, it was obvious that she puts great emphasis on helping female coaches to excel at the very top of the game.
‘’I’m going to miss the many wonderful teammates and players I’ve had the privilege of working in England with, both with the senior team and for the Under-18s, and I wish them every success in the future.’’
Sue Campbell, the FA ‘s director of women’s football, expressed her gratitude to Priestman for her work over the past few years, stating: “There is no doubt that this position was the best professional and personal fit for Bev.”
While losing such a talented coach is always sad, it is testament to her skills and experience in the women’s game that she has secured such an important national role.
‘’We would like to thank Bev for her hard work and dedication over the past three years to our England teams and wish her and her family the very best for the next step of the journey.’’