England Women head coach Mark Sampson has agreed a two-year contract extension which will run until 2019.
The deal will see Sampson lead his team through qualification and into the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup as well as next summer’s UEFA Women’s European Championship in Holland.
Sampson was awarded the extension after guiding the Lionesses to a best-ever third-place finish at last summer’s World Cup in Canada. His side also have a 100 per cent record in their Euro 2017 qualifying campaign and are fifth in the FIFA World Rankings – their highest-ever position.
Goalkeeping coach Lee Kendall has also agreed a two-year extension to his current deal. England’s goalkeepers have impressed in recent months with Karen Bardsley featuring in the FIFA World Cup All Star squad and named player of the match against both Norway and Germany in Canada.
Sampson, along with assistant coach Marieanne Spacey, was appointed in December 2013, with Kendall joining a month later.
Sampson, who is shortlisted for FIFA Women’s World Coach of the Year at tonight’s Ballon d’Or awards in Zurich, said: “I am delighted to have agreed to continue working with the Lionesses through to the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
“It is an honour and a privilege to manage such a fantastic group of people who represent their country with incredible pride and passion. We have all worked very hard over the last two years to improve both individually and collectively and our World Cup bronze medal highlights the progress this team has made.
“It was crucial post the World Cup we worked hard to continue to grow the game and I am pleased with the steps we have taken we are ready to do just that.
“I am delighted that Lee Kendall has also agreed to extend his contract with the team and over the coming weeks we will highlight the good work that has gone on behind-the-scenes to support the team.
“It is an incredibly exiting period for all players and supporters of the Lionesses and I am proud to continue leading the team through this special journey.”
FA technical director Dan Ashworth said: “Since Mark was appointed he has shown he is an excellent coach and leader, instilling a real confidence in the side and getting results.
“This England team has made real progress since Mark, Marieanne and Lee started and this extension is reward not only for the World Cup performance but for the way this squad is developing and the long-term vision that the coaching staff have for the team.
“Lee’s good work with the goalkeepers was evident in their performances at both the World Cup and throughout the qualifying campaigns and this will be vital as the team looks to progress further.
“We’re committed to the growth and development of the women’s game and our focus is on creating winning England teams. I am confident that under Mark’s leadership this England team has the capability to go on and enjoy success at future tournaments.”
Kelly Simmons, FA director of football participation and development, added: “Mark thoroughly deserves this contract extension for his excellent work over the past two years and the achievements he has led the team to.
“He and Lee, the England staff and players really caught the public imagination at the World Cup last summer and inspired so many girls and women to play football.
“There is an excitement and belief about where this team can go and what impact they can have on the wider women’s game. By extending the period of the contracts, this will allow them to build on the great work that they have done so far to create a long-lasting legacy for women’s football.”
England continue their Euro qualifying campaign in April, playing Belgium at home on 8 April and Bosnia & Herzegovina away four days later. Venue and ticketing details will be announced in the coming weeks.