London (AFP) – Lucy Bronze believes gender should not be a factor when it comes to selecting a successor to Phil Neville as England women’s coach.
Former Manchester United and England defender Neville is set to step down next year with the English Football Association looking to appoint a replacement to lead the team into the delayed European Championship in 2022.
Jill Ellis, England-born but twice a World Cup-winning coach with the United States, Chelsea’s Emma Hayes and former Manchester City manager Nick Cushing have all been suggested as potential replacements.
“Do I think it needs to be a woman? No. Do I think it has to be someone in women’s football? I don’t really think that,” Bronze told Union JACK radio’s The Show Must Go On podcast.
Bronze, the reigning European Women’s Footballer of the Year, added: “In women’s football especially, I don’t think that we see that as a difference, whether it’s a male of a female manager.
“If they know what they’re doing on the pitch and they can make us a better team, then bring them in and let’s go and win something.”
Meanwhile, England team-mate Leah Williamson said a decision to curtail the Women’s Super League season due to the coronavirus was a “massive shame”, and could have a negative impact on the growth of women’s football.
“It’s no secret that the women’s game has been jumping and jumping each year to new heights,” Williamson said.
“So I think that’s the biggest fear — that we’ll lose that when we go back and it’ll be two steps backwards.”