The FA has appointed Mark Sampson as the new Head Coach of the England Senior Women’s Team.
Sampson has signed a four year contract and will begin work with immediate effect, with his first task being to name a squad for the January training camp in La Manga.
The 31-year-old joins from FA Women’s Super League outfit Bristol Academy WFC and will report to Director of Football Development Sir Trevor Brooking and the Club England Board.
He will work closely with the national coaches and the new Head of Elite Women’s Development at St George’s Park to improve England teams at all levels and support the player pathway up to the Senior Women’s team.
Speaking about his appointment, Sampson revealed: “I’m very proud and honoured to be offered the opportunity by The FA to manage the England Women’s senior team.
"This is a huge challenge for me personally and one in which I’m looking forward to taking on. I hope everyone in the game can unite behind me and the squad and together we can share a new and exciting journey for women’s football in England."
Brooking added: “Mark is an outstanding manager with a tremendous passion and commitment to drive the game forward in this country”
England’s Steph Houghton will join City’s women’s team as the Blues recruit yet another experienced international to their ranks.
Houghton will join the club on a three-year deal on New Year’s Day, following international teammates Jill Scott, Karen Bardsley and Toni Duggan in the move to Manchester. With an already-impressive history, glittering with trophies and medals, Houghton is hoping to add many more achievements to her CV in the coming years.
“I’m very excited,” she said. “I’m so glad that City came in for me because as soon as I heard their plans for the future, I knew I wanted to be part of it.
Houghton began her career at local club Sunderland Ladies, before moving to Leeds United Ladies in 2007. During her time at the Whites, she was named the 2008 FA Women’s Young Player of the Year and played a key role in their 2010 FA Women’s Cup win, attracting interest from Arsenal.
Houghton admitted that it was tough to leave Arsenal but she is confident that she made the right decision and is looking forward to playing for City.
“I’d like to thank Arsenal very much for everything they’ve done for me,” she said. “They’ve helped me to grow as a player and it was a massive decision for me to leave. I had three very successful years there and I didn’t take the decision lightly.
“I’m looking forward to a new challenge now and I’m eager to meet the City squad and the coaches. I know Jill, Karen and Toni from the England team so that will make things easier. They are very good individuals so it will be great for the squad to have so many international players.”
Needless to say, Houghton is proud of her achievements but is looking to gain many more at her new club.
“I’m very excited for the new season now and I want to play in as many games as I can, as well as I can. Fingers crossed, I’ll play frequently for both City and for England and we’ll have a successful first season.”
We spoke to Reading FC Women about their history and how they’ve arrived at the present day.
AS a centre of excellence Reading FC Women saw a host of their young stars depart for senior football and careers elsewhere and current manager Kelly Chambers was one of them.
Fast forward to the present day, though, and the stars coming through the ranks are staying put because they can strut their stuff in the FA Women’s Super League 2.
The turning point came in 2006, when after three years of planning it was announced the centre of excellence, in existence since the turn of the century, would be expanded to a women’s senior team.
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