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    Football chiefs could force new Lionesses boss Wiegman to move to UK as Dutch star prepares to take over from Neville

    FOOTBALL authorities could call on Sarina Wiegman to make a permanent move to the UK when she begins her England Women’s head coach job.
    The Daily Mail claims the FA may insist on the move due to worries over her intentions to journey to work from the Netherlands during the pandemic. 

    Reports claim the FA may insist Sarina Wiegman moves to the UKCredit: Rex Features

    Wiegman, who is currently boss of Netherlands Women, is due to start her Lionesses role after the Tokyo Olympics in August. 
    On Tuesday the FA  announced Hege Riise, 51, as England Women’s interim head coach after Phil Neville left to become manager of David Beckham’s Inter Miami team. 
    Last August following her appointment Wiegman, 51, revealed she had no plans to relocate to England and would spend half her time in her country.
    The Mail says the FA insisted they were content with the Holland coach’s proposals at the time

    Officials believed a commute from the Netherlands would not stop her spending three days a week at St George’s Park and watching WSL games on weekends.
    However, it is thought that such an arrangement could be up in the air with international travel in a state of flux due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 
    Since January 15 all overseas visitors arriving in the Netherlands have been asked to provide proof they have tested negative for the coronavirus in the previous 72 hours. 
    This week the Government introduced new restrictions ordering all arrivals to the UK to quarantine after they have provided negative test results prior to their departure. 

    Elite athletes and sports team managers have been exempted, but this is on the proviso they travel by private plane. 
    The Mail reports the FA would be unable to cover chartered flight costs for Wiegman to commute on a weekly basis. 

    Norwegian coach Hege Riise has become England Women’s interim head coachCredit: AP:Associated Press

    England men’s boss Gareth Southgate and his staff have been attending several live matches each week during the pandemic 
    It is thought Wiegman would be expected to do same.
    FA officials have reportedly told the Mail they are monitoring the situation and are keeping in close contact with in-coming Lionesses boss. 
    Wiegman’s appointment has been met with excitement in the women’s game over the past year.

    Sarina Wiegman is due to start her job as the Lionesses head coach after the Tokyo OlympicsCredit: Getty Images – Getty
    The former defender made history in 2016 when she became the first woman in the Netherlands to coach a professional men’s side at Sparta Rotterdam. 
    In 2019 Wiegman led the Netherlands to the finals of the Women’s World Cup where they were beaten by the United States. 
    And the Dutch boss currently holds the record for the most wins by a coach of a Netherlands national football team.

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    Former Lioness Lianne Sanderson says England’s form declined under Phil Neville and he leaves them ‘in a strange place’

    LIANNE SANDERSON reckons England experienced a dip in form during Phil Neville’s tenure as boss. 
    And the Sky Sports pundit believes the new Inter Miami coach’s departure has left the squad in a ‘strange place’. 

    Lianne Sanderson reckons Phil Neville’s exit has left the Lionesses in a strange placeCredit: Getty Images – Getty

    The former Arsenal and Juve striker, 32, capped 50 times for England, was reacting to news of Neville’s exit. 
    Sanderson told Sky Sports News: “When he first got the job I was very much like ‘Yes! Phil Neville. It doesn’t matter if he has managed in the women’s game before.’ 
    “He is an ex-player. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a woman in charge.
    “I think a lot of people thought that it had to be a woman. I don’t believe in that I think it has to be the best person for the job. 

    “He had three years in charge and we have gone down the world’s rankings. 
    “Yes – we won the SheBelieves Cup in 2019 and that was a fantastic achievement beating the USA and Brazil. 
    “But the way that some of the performances have been, it looks like some of the players were not playing for him.”
    With the ex-Red Devil, 43, off to the MLS, the FA hopes to identify two interim coaches to lead Great Britain’s women’s side at the Tokyo Olympics and the Lionesses until the Autumn. 

    In-coming England Women’s boss Sarina Wiegman is unable to commence her new role until after the Games in August, where she will coach Holland. 
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    Phil Neville has been confirmed as the new manager of MLS club Inter Miami Credit: AFP or licensors

    The Netherlands won Euro 2017 under the highly-rated boss and were runners-up at the 2019 World Cup.
    And the 51-year-old currently holds the record for the most wins by a coach of a Netherlands national football team. 
    Sanderson added: “At this moment in time I think it (Neville’s departure) has left the England Women’s team in a bit of a strange place where they have to find an interim coach for the next few months until Sarina (Wiegman) takes over.”

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    Scotland star Rachel Corsie ends Birmingham loan ahead of club’s clash with Everton

    RACHEL CORSIE is set for a National Women’s Soccer League return with Birmingham confirming the early end of her loan spell.  
    Her move comes as a blow with Carla Ward hoping to retain the Scotland star until January 28 with her squad’s injury struggles.

    Rachel Corsie is set to bring an early end to her Birmingham loan spellCredit: Kenny Ramsay – The Sun Glasgow

    Corsie, 31, had agreed to a half-season temporary switch from Utah Royals after Covid wrecked last year’s NWSL season.
    However the Scotland skipper is due to return to the States following her parent club being taken over by new owners Kansas City. 
    This means the defender will head back to the USA as a Kansas player ahead of their upcoming NWSL campaign.
    Ward, 37, said: “Kansas City have recalled Rachel and ended her loan early. 

    “Naturally we would have wanted Rachel to stay for a longer term, but it was out of our hands and out of our control.
    “I told her I don’t think she realises the impact she has had on staff and players. 
    “She is exceptional in the way she trains, the way she conducts herself and what she brings to the team.” 
    Corsie told Birmingham City’s website: “When I came back to England I wasn’t sure what to expect. 

    “I had a good feeling (about Birmingham) from the conversation I had with Carla. 
    “My time here has been something I will remember really positively.
    “The girls are all great and they made me feel really welcome.” 
    Corsie, who has 120 caps for Scotland, made 11 WSL appearances this term netting once for Birmingham. 
    Although the Scot is departing, Blues have been boosted with the arrivals of Emily Murphy on loan from Chelsea and Ruesha Littlejohn from Leicester City.
    Both players, who made their Birmingham debuts on Sunday, will be available for the club’s upcoming clash with Everton, who are fifth.

    Ruesha Littlejohn, 30, has joined Birmingham from Leicester City until the end of the seasonCredit: Getty Images – Getty

    Chelsea striker Emily Murphy, 17, is on loan at Birmingham Credit: Represented by ZUMA Press, Inc.
    The club have also bid farewell to Destiny Toussaint with the midfielder moving to Coventry United after six WSL appearances this season. 
    Toussaint’s return to the Championship strugglers will be her second stint with the team following a three-year spell from 2012 to 2015. 
    The club are currently second from bottom and battling to avoid the drop into the third tier of the women’s game.

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    Wales Women’s boss Jayne Ludlow leaves role by mutual consent after six years in charge

    JAYNE LUDLOW has departed as head coach of Wales Women’s football team and sparked a search for a new boss.
    The ex-Arsenal star’s exit comes a month after speculation linking her with the manager’s role of West Ham Women’s Super League side.  

    Football chiefs are on the hunt for a new Wales Women’s manager following Jayne Ludlow’s departureCredit: PA:Press Association

    Football chiefs in Wales confirmed Ludlow is leaving the role which she took on in 2014. 
    Now the former Gunner, 42, who coached the side in more than 50 games, is free to consider other managerial options. 
    However, it is reported the ex-WSL midfielder is not in the running for the interim England Women’s manager role with Phil Neville due to become boss of Inter Miami.
    In a statement, Ludlow said: “It has been an honour and an absolute pleasure to have worked with the staff and players across our age group and senior teams.

    “It has been a fantastic learning environment for me personally and I am proud of what we have achieved over the last six years as a group of staff and players, whom I want to thank.
    “I am looking forward to the next challenges, one of which is an exciting opportunity I have to be part of a technical leadership team at FIFA.
    “I wish the squad well in the future and I feel that qualification for a first major final is not far away.”
    Ludlow came close to helping Wales reaching the Women’s European Championship, which will now be staged in England next year.

    But the team fell narrowly short with Northern Ireland beating them to second place in their qualifying group last year.
    Wales stars in the Women’s Super League have been paying tribute to Ludlow. 
    In a post on Twitter Reading ace Jess Fishlock said she would miss the ‘tears, laughs, arguments and high fives’ with her former international boss. 

    I am Sad.I was Sad when Jarmo left, I am sad now Jayne has left.So many memories .. tears, laughs, arguments, high fives.Some unbelievable moments.We are a better nation for you Jayne Ludlow.Thank youDiolch.❤️. https://t.co/f2gWJq2DlK
    — Jessica Fishlock MBE (@JessFishlock) January 18, 2021

    Jayne Ludlow is reportedly not in the running to become interim boss of the Lionesses following Phil Neville’s exitCredit: PA:Press Association
    FAW chief executive Jonathan Ford said: “Jayne has played a huge part in the progress of the Women’s game in Wales over the past six years, managing the side through three qualification campaigns.”
    “The 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifying campaign enhanced the profile of the game throughout the country, inspiring young girls across Wales to play football for the first time.
    “Off the field Jayne has been a role model for the women’s game in Wales, regularly visiting schools across the country and attending the National Eisteddfod to inspire future generations.
    “We thank Jayne for all her hard work, dedication and vast contribution to Welsh football both on and off the field. We wish her well in the future.”

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    Phil Neville set to take over as Inter Miami boss after standing down as England women’s manager after three years

    PHIL Neville has quit as England women’s boss – paving the way for him to be installed by David Beckham at Inter Miami
    Neville’s early departure after three years at the Lionesses’ helm was confirmed by the FA.

    Phil Neville has quit as Lionesses bossCredit: Getty Images – Getty

    Phil Neville is set to reunite with his former Man United team-mate David Beckham in the MLS Credit: Reuters

    But with incoming successor Sarina Wiegman’s arrival on hold until after the Olympics, it leaves Wembley chiefs having to fill TWO holes until then.
    Neville, who announced his intention to leave last April, was due to stay as England coach until the summer.
    More crucially, he had agreed to take charge of the Great Britain women’s side at the Tokyo Olympics.
    It leaves the FA needing to fill both vacancies, with Wiegman not leaving her job with Holland until taking the Dutch to Japan for their shot at Olympic glory.

    In a statement confirming Neville’s exit, the FA said it would shortly confirm the name of an interim head coach for next month’s planned get-together and potential games.
    Neville was a surprise choice in 2018 but forged a strong bond with his players.
    He took England to the semi-finals of the 2019 World Cup, where they were narrowly edged out by the USA.
    But the former Three Lions full-back was frustrated by the 12-month postponement of the scheduled 2021 Euros to be held in England and came under sustained criticism after a series of disappointing performances and results.

    The Lionesses have not played since last March, another contributory factor and while Neville had intended to see through his contract, the approach from Beckham proved too tempting for him to resist.
    Neville said: “It has been an honour to manage England and I have enjoyed three of the best years of my career with The FA and the Lionesses.
    “The players who wear the England shirt are some of the most talented and dedicated athletes I have ever had the privilege to work with. 
    “They have challenged me and improved me as a coach, and I am very grateful to them for the fantastic memories we have shared.”
    FA chief executive Mark Bullingham said: “Phil can be proud of what he has achieved as England head coach and I am sure he will continue to progress in future. 

    Phil Neville is due to named as new head coach of Inter Miami within the next few days Credit: Reuters
    “I wish him well and thank him for the hard work he put into helping our players and support team be the best they can be.”
    Neville’s No 2, Rehane Skinner, recently left the England set-up to take over at Women’s Super League side Tottenham.
    Dame Sue Campbell, the FA’s Director of Women’s Football, thanked Nevile for his efforts, adding: “The commitment, dedication and respect he has shown the position has been clear to see, and I will personally miss our many conversations about ways we can improve and progress.
    “After steadying the ship at a challenging period, he helped us to win the SheBelieves Cup for the first time, reach the World Cup semi-finals and qualify for the Olympics. 

    Sarina Wiegman is due to take charge of the Lionesses after the Tokyo Olympics in AugustCredit: Rex Features
    “Given his status as a former Manchester United and England player, he did much to raise the profile of our team. 
    “He has used his platform to champion the women’s game, worked tirelessly to support our effort to promote more female coaches and used his expertise to develop many of our younger players.
    “Given the positive ongoing dialogue we have been having with Phil, we will be in a position to provide an update soon on an interim appointment, as well as provide a further update on the coaching situation regarding Team GB.”

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    Man City skipper Steph Houghton hails Abby Dahlkemper’s move to Women’s Super League giants

    STEPH HOUGHTON has given Abby Dahlkemper a virtual warm welcome after the USA ace confirmed her Manchester City switch.
    The England Women’s captain is among the City stars looking forward to seeing the World Cup winner in action in the WSL this term. 

    Abby Dahlkemper is the third USA international to join Man City this term Credit: Kenny Ramsay – The Sun Glasgow

    Dahlkemper, 27, signed a two-year deal to join Gareth Taylor’s squad having spent three years at North Carolina Courage. 
    Houghton, 32, told her 144,000 Twitter followers that she “can’t wait” for the defender’s arrival.
    And City forward Janine Beckie, 26, was equally enthusiastic with the Canada star sharing fire emojis in her tweet in reaction to the news. 
    Dahlkemper is the third USA player to join the 2020 FA Cup winners this term, following Sam Mewis and Rose Lavelle signing in August. 

    Dahlkemper told City’s website: “Sam [Mewis] and Rose [Lavelle] have been saying nothing but brilliant things about the Club and hearing them speak so highly about the facilities, the staff and the players, as well as their experience of a new technical and tactical challenge, is something that was really appealing to me.
    “With all the talent in the FA WSL, I know that each game will present a new challenge and the opportunity to grow both as a player and as a person in England is going to be amazing, alongside having the chance to play Champions League football too.
    “I just can’t wait to get over and help the team in whatever way I can and be successful on the field.”

    Head coach Gareth Taylor said: “Abby is a very talented defender who has been successful both domestically and internationally – with her desire and hunger for victory, we know she’ll fit into our team ethos perfectly.
    “We’re really looking forward to working with her over the coming seasons.”

    Abby Dahlkemper played in every game for the USA during their triumphant 2019 World Cup campaignCredit: Kenny Ramsay – The Sun Glasgow

    Dahlkemper, who made 64 appearances for the Courage, is set to join her new team after the USA play Colombia in a friendly on January 22.
    And City – who are fourth – take on Aston Villa in their first WSL game of the year.
    The team are also due to face Chelsea in a rescheduled Conti Cup quarter-final clash. 

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    Phil Neville’s England replacement Sarina Wiegman will bring Dutch of class to Lionesses in trophy hunt

    PHIL NEVILLE will soon be packing his flip-flops and factor 40 for the tough gig that is Miami.
    While we are all freezing in our isolated world, Neville has left England’s women’s team and bagged himself a Florida foxhole.

    Former Holland boss Sarina Wiegman is taking Phil Neville’s England Women jobCredit: Getty Images – Getty

    Neville is off to manage Inter MiamiCredit: Getty Images – Getty

    Lucky man! Not so much Miami Vice, as Miami, hmmmm, very nice. Good luck to him.
    His record as boss was mixed.
    A 2019 World Cup semi-final berth — only losing to eventual winners USA 2-1 — was countered by really poor form since then, with the Lionesses losing five of their last nine games.
    Enter a woman!

    The replacement for 43- year-old Neville is former Holland boss Sarina Wiegman.
    These are exciting times for women’s football and Wiegman comes with a cracking CV.
    She won Euro 2017 with Holland and was runner-up at the 2019 World Cup.
    I confess I was surprised when Neville was appointed as he hadn’t managed a team before.

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    Surely you need a certain level of experience before becoming the focal point for a nation’s hopes and fears.
    Mind you, some of the best men’s managers in recent years barely kicked a ball in anger.
    Arsene Wenger, Gerard Houllier and Rafa Benitez spring to mind and Jose Mourinho was a translator under the late Sir Bobby Robson at Barcelona.
    As for Wiegman, she ticks both boxes, with 104 caps for the Netherlands as a player.
    The 51-year-old is renowned for her professionalism and high standards and takes over just before the 2022 Euros on our home soil.
    We all know the galvanising effect Euro 96 had on the men’s game — Three Lions on the shirt and all that — and, hopefully, the same can happen with the women.
    Wiegman, who is set to take over after this summer’s Olympics — assuming they go ahead — has all of our best wishes as the England team have been bridesmaids but never the brides.
    Runners-up in Europe twice and World Cup semi-finalists twice, Neville and others before him could not find the key to the trophy cabinet. Now, where have we heard that before?

    England’s women are about to embark on a new path without NevilleCredit: Getty Images – Getty
    OUT OF TOUCH
    I HAVE to admit that I am bemused by this constant berating of footballers for celebrating goals by hugging.
    As far as I am aware you cannot catch Covid from someone who has tested negative — no matter how close you get. And all the players on the pitch have tested negative.
    Premier League players are now tested three times a week, making them, I would think, among the most tested people in the country.
    Scoring a goal is one of the great pleasures of being a footballer and a fist pump or elbow bump doesn’t really have the same effect as a pure instinct goal celebration.
    But, of course, we will all comply with the rules. No matter how little they make sense sometimes.

    The hugging ban during celebrations makes no sense to meCredit: Getty – Pool
    EFL DEBT OF GRATITUDE
    WEST HAM received a letter from the chairman of Northampton Town last week, writing to thank us and all Premier League clubs for their assistance with the EFL bailout.
    He recognised that all of football is struggling through this pandemic and suffering significant losses, so the bailout was ‘much appreciated’.
    He’s not wrong.
    Three Premier League clubs recently posted significant losses — Man Utd £23million, Spurs £67.7m and Southampton £76m, no doubt with more to follow. The Prem collectively is losing £100- a-month.
    He said that ‘Northampton Town wanted to just recognise the role of the Premier League clubs in helping’.
    A thank you goes a long way, so a touch of class from Kelvin Thomas.

    I appreciated Kelvin Thomas writing to thank Premier League clubs for their contributions to the EFL bail outCredit: Getty Images – Getty

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    Ex-West Ham boss Matt Beard set to take over Bristol City Women as Tanya Oxtoby’s maternity cover

    MATT BEARD will take charge of Bristol City Women until the end of the season as Tanya Oxtoby takes maternity leave.
    The ex-West Ham boss left the East London club ‘by mutual consent’ midway through November.

    Ex-West Ham boss Matt Beard will cover Robins boss Tanya Oxtoby for maternity cover

    Tanya Oxtoby’s baby boy is due in March

    Oxtoby has been in the Robins’ top job for two-and-a-half years after taking charge in the summer of 2018.
    But she will step away from her role temporarily to focus on the birth of her baby boy – who is due in March.
    Beard won back-to-back WSL titles with Liverpool in 2013 and 2014.
    He has also managed at Millwall Lionesses, Chelsea and, most recently the Hammers.

    City Women Board Chairman Mark Ashton said: “Everyone at Bristol City wishes Tanya all the best as she and her partner look forward to the birth of their baby boy.

    “It has been a challenging season so far and credit to Tanya, who despite contracting COVID-19, has remained focused and determined to drive the team forward.
    “Allowing her to take a step back now will allow a significant handover period for Matt and we are delighted to have secured his services for the rest of the season during Tanya’s maternity leave.”
    Beard’s first task is taking rockbottom City on a trip to face high-flying Everton on Sunday.

    Oxtoby said: “Given the circumstances and where we are with the pandemic, I think it makes sense for the transition to begin and I’m fully supportive.
    “I know Matt well. At the forefront of my mind when I knew this process was going to start was the playing group and making sure the transition was as seamless as possible.
    “The Board have decided Matt is the right person to come in and I’ll support him 100 per cent.
    “However he needs the players as well because I want them to reach their potential.
    “I want us to stay in the Barclays FAWSL and I’ll support, however I can, to make that happen.”

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