Hope Powell happy to see women in England top jobs after Phil Neville’s Inter Miami move

HOPE POWELL says she is excited to see two female coaches take charge of the Lionesses following Phil Neville’s departure. 

And Neville opting to quit as national manager for Inter Miami came as no surprise to the former England Women’s boss. 

Powell, 54, who led the Lionesses to the finals of the 2009 Euros, was reacting to news of Hege Riise’s and Rhian Wilkinson’s appointments on a temporary basis. 

Riise, 51, will take charge of the Lionesses training camp in February with Wilkinson, 38, serving as her No2. 

And Seagulls gaffer, Powell, whose Brighton aces will play Manchester City, believes the duo will bring new energy to the national team. 

Powell said: “Am I surprised (by Phil Neville leaving)? Absolutely not. 

“I think the job in the American league has been muted for a while. 

“They (Riise and Wilkinson) are two new coaches, both very good players and experienced internationally. 

“I know Rhian Wilkinson very well. I mentored her while she was on a programme with FIFA. 

“I think I'm more pleased that it's two females deserving of the opportunity who are being given the chance. 

“That's really pleasing to see and it bodes well hopefully for the future. 

“To see the next generation of English female coaches coming through would be great. 

“I recognise that it is in the interim, I have no idea how that looks going forward for international games, but credit to them both. They're energisers. 

“I briefly had an exchange of text messages with Rhian. She is absolutely delighted. And I'm just really pleased with both of them.”

Wikinson was part of a Canada side who defeated Team GB in the football quarter-finals of the London 2012 Olympics. 

The retired full-back – capped 181 times – helped the Canadians win back-to-back bronze medals at the 2012 and 2016 games before taking up coaching in 2017. 

And Riise, who served as head coach of Norwegian giants LSK Kvinner from 2017, is a World Cup and European championship winner and an Olympic gold medallist. 

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