Praise for Powell's OBE
Top Football Association official have praised England Women's Coach Hope Powell after she was awarded an OBE today in the Queen's birthday honours list.
F.A. Chief Executive Adam Crozier said from Japan: "I am delighted for Hope, as is everyone at The F.A. This recognition is richly deserved, both for her personally and for women's football as a whole."
Ray Kiddell, Chairman of The FA Women's Football Committee, added: "On behalf of the FA Women's Football Committee, I am delighted to hear such great news. I am sure that Hope will lead the women's teams to further success in the future."
Head of National Football Development Kelly Simmons MBE, who was in charge of women's football development when Hope took on the post as the first ever full-time women's National Coach in June 1998, said: "Hope has been extremely successful in her role. She came in straight from playing international football, but has transformed the England women's team and the set-up beneath it.
"We have some very good young players coming through the system now and Hope's success is shown through every team doing well at the moment. The Seniors are in the World Cup play-offs, the Under-19s have qualified for their World Championships and the Under-17s have lost just once in four years under her management."
Powell becomes the second F.A. official to be recognised by the Queen for her work in women's football. Kelly Simmons was awarded an MBE a year ago for her role in developing the game and laying the foundations for girls across England to play the game.
Since The F.A. took over the running of the game in 1993, football has become the top female sport with the number of affiliated 11-a-side players rising from 11,000 to 61,000 today. The biggest area of growth has been girls football - while there were just 80 girls teams in 1993, there are over 2,500 today.
Praise for Powell also came from the Head of Women's Football, Karen Doyle. ³This is brilliant news and I am really thrilled. The honour is a fantastic reflection of Hope's commitment as a player and also in her term as a coach. She has successfully implemented an infrastructure for young internationals, which has seen a tremendous growth in the standard of the game in the country. Her talent and dedication has helped drive the domestic game forward too.
"Only yesterday I was talking with UEFA about how England is now being recognised as a force to be reckoned with in the women¹s game. The world is sitting up and taking notice of women¹s football in England and this has been aided in no small part by Hope Powell."