Matt Holland (PA)

Hope Powell's ready to take on the Football League

By SportUK 02/08/2012 11:10

Unlike the untried men’s team, the women’s squad is largely made up of the England team that reached the Quarter-finals of last year’s World Cup.


Hope PowellI have been hugely impressed by Hope Powell’s side. They have been organised and disciplined (the only side yet to concede) but have also played with great spirit and no shortage of skill.


They have totally embraced this competition and the record attendance for a women’s game in England of over 70,000 that saw them beat Brazil at Wembley the other day was testament to how the public have been captivated by their performances. If they get to the final the Olympic record crowd of 76,489 will surely be beaten.


There have been some outstanding individual performers, none more so than Steph Houghton who has scored in three consecutive games, but it hasn’t been about one player, it has been a real team effort.


Like the men however, if they want to make the final they will probably have to do it the hard way. The likelihood is that they would then be faced with overcoming the reigning Olympic champions USA. It may be a game too far but they are riding the crest of a wave and I wouldn’t rule them out upsetting the odds.


A bronze is definitely on the cards but it’s possible they could go one or even two better.


Whatever the outcome, there’s no doubt where praise is due. Hope Powell has been the England coach since 1998 and oversees the whole set up from U15’s onwards. She was awarded the coaching pro licence in 2003, studying for it alongside Pearce, and is loving the opportunity to manage on the Olympic stage.


But would she be tempted into managing in the men’s game? Or more pertinently would anyone take a risk in employing her? I think the answer is yes to both.


Football is evolving all the time and we are seeing more and more women involved in the men’s side in varying roles. She was linked with the Grimsby vacancy in 2009 but didn’t get it and there is no doubt it would be a brave move to give her a chance. But why not?

02/08/2012 13:15

I went to school with her and her passion for football stood out even then playoing for Millwall lionesses. She is a levelheaded person who certainly knew her stuff even but then in the days where we had to have special games arranged with other schools so she could represent our school in a mixed side with another player Jane bartley. Im so proud of her and the way she has taken womens football forward. There is no reason why she cant manage a football league team and her qualities will shine through. She may come up against opposition to it but her experience and creditablity as a person will shine through.

There is no greater risk than appointing a male manager and its about the coaching skills experience she has and also its about the mentality of players she works with. Any job she takes will be a risk for her but she will choose wisely when the time comes.


02/08/2012 13:13
Well said! I dont see how giving her a chance would be brave. Lets face it, all of her male counter parts have failed at international level. A risk? Thats laughable considering her achievements. Nothing but discrimination and remarks that are offensive to women.
02/08/2012 18:41

get her to coach the mens england team.......she will do a better job, 'sycho' is crap at managing any team. He wasnt good at playing either!!


My partners 11 yr old daughter can run rings round any lad playing, she has 25 medals and 8 trophies over her yrs of playing...........and she's only 11 years old!!!!


keep up the good work GB ladies and show the men what they are not worth!!

02/08/2012 12:05
Can I just ask - Why would it be "a brave move to give her a chance"? And why would it be "a risk in employing her"? Is that because she is female...? Could you possible be any more negative towards working women in your article...?
30/08/2012 12:05
She's untested at that level don't know, she might get a chance at a lower league club maybe so can't say that she might not get her chance.
21/08/2012 12:22
People have short memories - 9th July last year, England women were 1-0 up against France and heading for the semis, when with 10 minutes to go this supposedly brilliant manager and strategist decided to give 2 players their World Cup debuts. Both were nervy and woeful (what a difference a year has made to Houghton) and 8 minutes later France equalised.
Then in extra time as this brilliant strategist had used all her subs Kelly Smith was at a virtual standstill having been injured earlier. They limped through extra time and lost on penalties, one of which was missed by her other debutant Rafferty.
I was astonished after this balls up that she kept her job at all let alone move on to anything bigger.
22/08/2012 14:28
In my book she has much more no how! and strategy than Stuart Pearce! Can anyone believe what he did with the GB side when he left out Giggs and when bringing him on
took Bellamy off!! Giving GB no chance in the game.....l expect all of this will be forgotten!
and team selection for England etc will be left to the no hoper....Pearce

20/08/2012 19:38
MATT ! with all due respect the game of football does not need WOMEN in the MENS game, well certainly not in a manager or coaching way. but what i will say is that women DO deserve the full respect of being in the boardroom cos they really are better at managing money matters.
02/08/2012 16:55

I don`t doubt her ability,and she has done well with England.But six of the GB side play for Arsenal ladies,who are the best team in the country by far.And at least two of the other players are recent ex-Arsenal.So that is why they gel so well.

I don`t she is ready for the EPL just yet,But the lower leagues,certainly.

26/08/2012 16:53
I can only laugh out very loud in deed, Well she is good managing women team because she is a woman, she can stay managing women team simple, Even i dont buy the idea of having a woman referee for the men's match, There are enough women team in the country to anage or referee
18/08/2012 23:20
Are these comments for real?? Womens football is the same standard as watching an average saturday local league team, just like the womens tennis that gets two weeks of full coverage at wimbledon, when the 500th ranked man could beat any of them.... just appreciate them for what they are and don't suggest they or their manager are anything else...
02/08/2012 17:48
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  • Matt HollandMatt Holland

    Former Republic of Ireland midfielder Matt Holland talks all things football from the Premier League to the grass roots.

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