England Women's National Coach Hope Powell OBE has become the first female coach
England Women's National Coach Hope Powell OBE has become the first female coach in the world to achieve the coveted UEFA Pro Licence - the highest award available to football coaches...
Powell recently picked up the honour, the culmination of a year-long programme, alongside other distinguished coaches in England. The programme was led initially by former FA Technical Director Howard Wilkinson and included workshops from guest speakers Sir Bobby Robson and Hope's colleague Sven-Goran Eriksson.
"It's an honour to be the first woman in the world to receive this qualification and I hope that more women have the opportunity to achieve this," Powell told TheFA.com.
"It was an enjoyable programme and it was good to have the opportunity to learn from such experienced coaches. Each coach taking part was actually invited to participate so I'm glad to have been offered the chance."
Powell was on the course alongside England Under-21 coach David Platt, England Youth coaches Nigel Pearson and John McDermott, as well as Mark McGhee, Stuart Pearce and David Watson.
The new intake in summer 2003 working towards the Pro-Licence include Wales manager Mark Hughes, Iain Dowie, Joe Jordan and Kevin Sheedy.
"I didn't find the course particularly hard, it was just a case of getting all the work done and fitting it around all the international work," added Powell.
"When I was away with the England teams, I would have to fit in reports and conference call meetings to ensure I could get all the work done required for the course."
"We had to give some feedback at the end of the course and one of the points that I made was that this course should also be geared to women's football, so as to include the growing number of male and female coaches working in the women's game."
Hope's qualification comes just weeks after her Under-19 Head Coach Mo Marley had achieved her 'A' Licence - becoming the fifth female coach in England bestowed with the honour.
Hope is now taking a well-earned summer break, before meeting with her international team staff to finalise preparations for England's bid for success at the UEFA U19 Women's European Championships - taking place in Germany later this month.