The woman who served as Phil Neville’s deputy with the Lionesses for two years has accepted the head coaching role in North America
Ex-England assistant Beverly Priestman has been appointed manager of the Canada women’s national team.
Priestman has stepped down from her role as England U18s head coach to take up the post, and her tenure with Canada is set to officially begin on November 1.
The 34-year-old took charge of the Lionesses’ U18s in early September following a restructure of the women’s technical division, having spent the previous two years working with the senior squad.
Priestman was named Phil Neville’s No 2 in 2018 and helped his England side progress to the FIFA Women’s World Cup semi-finals a year later, where they were beaten 2-1 by the United States.
She will now be taking up a new challenge in North America, where she initially earned her coaching stripes working under the current manager of the Canada men’s team, John Herdman.
Herdman was in charge of the women’s set-up for seven years before accepting a role with the men’s side in 2018, and Priestman served as his assistant as Canada competed at both the 2015 World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games.
The ex-Lionesses coach said her final goodbyes to her Football Association colleagues after being unveiled in her new role on Wednesday, while insisting she couldn’t ignore the chance to fulfil one of her longest-held coaching dreams.
“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time at the FA, particularly working closely with Phil Neville and the senior squad during an exciting two years which saw us reach the semi-finals of the Women’s World Cup,” said Priestman.
“I have some really special memories from that two-year journey and I’d like to thank Phil, the staff and the players for that. Furthermore, I have thoroughly enjoyed my recent work with the Women’s U18s staff and players in preparation for the FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup.
“When the opportunity to lead Canada Women was on the table, I knew immediately it was something I had to do. To have the chance to return and work with some great people and lead a senior national team into two Olympic Games and the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2023 fulfils so many of my professional goals.
“I’d like to thank the FA for their unwavering support and understanding. It was clear from my very first conversation with Sue Campbell that she places huge value in supporting female coaches to succeed at the very top of the game.
“I will miss the many wonderful colleagues and players I’ve had the privilege to work with at England, both with the senior team and the Under-18s and I wish them every success in the future.”
The FA’s director of women’s football, Sue Campbell, expressed her gratitude towards Priestman for her work over the past few years, stating: “There is no doubt this role was the perfect professional and personal fit for Bev.
“Whilst it is always sad to lose such a talented coach, it is testament to her abilities and experience in the women’s game that she has secured such a significant national role.
“We thank Bev for her hard work and commitment to our England teams over the last three years and wish her and her family the very best for the next stage of their journey.”