The Football Association is set to start interviewing for the role of England Women manager after 79 applicants were deemed to have met the criteria, the Guardian understands.
The FA received a total of 142 applications for the position that targets “winning the World Cup in 2023” and is set to be vacated by Phil Neville at the end of his contract next summer. It is understood the FA has shortlisted from the 79 candidates which meet all requirements, which includes holding an A or pro licence and “an understanding of the different demands of club and international football”.
According to the job description, Neville’s replacement must “build a winning team, which respects and lives the philosophy and values of the FA” and “create a team culture focused on confidence, cohesion and positive spirit.”
With the Olympics having been pushed back to next summer and the 2021 Euros pushed back to 2022, the incoming manager will have back-to-back tournaments before the World Cup in New Zealand and Australia in 2023.
The FA will be keen to avoid controversy following a process in 2018 in which a reported 142 candidates were whittled down to a final four that one by one stepped back from the process following Mark Sampson’s acrimonious departure, which ultimately triggered the pursuit of Neville.
“We’ve had an unbelievable response,” the FA’s head of women’s football, Sue Campbell, has told the BBC. “I’m not judging it against what we’ve had in the past, it’s saying: ‘Who has got the ability to take us right to the top of Everest?’
“We’re at the final camp – how do we get to the top of that mountain? That’s what my job is. To find that person for the players. They deserve the best and I want to get them the best if I can.”