England Women’s assistant coach Marieanne Spacey is moving roles to lead a new international player development programme.
The scheme will support a selected group of young English female players in maximising their development, helping them to effectively transition from youth teams into the senior women’s side. It will launch in September 2017, in line with the new women’s domestic season.
The players will be selected to be a part of the programme in consultation with FA WSL clubs and national coaches. They will receive individual developmental support across a wide range of areas with a particular focus on technical and educational work, with the aim of maximising their potential and building winning England teams.
Spacey, whose new role is England Women’s player and coach developer, will begin working on the programme immediately and therefore will not join the senior team at this summer’s UEFA Women’s Euros which takes place in the Netherlands.
Spacey, who received her UEFA Pro Licence this month, brings a wealth of playing and coaching experience to the role.
She was part of Mark Sampson’s England coaching staff that finished third at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, and as U23s head coach, she led the team to Nordic Tournament success earlier this month.
She played for England 91 times, scoring 28 goals.
Spacey will support The FA’s head of women’s coach development, Audrey Cooper, working to develop both female coaches and coaches working in the women’s game, delivering bespoke courses and mentoring.
Spacey said: “This programme is a real opportunity to enhance the development of some of the best young players in the women’s game.
“There are many talented players in our pathway but we know that with the extra support in key areas on and off the pitch, their talent could truly be realised and make such a difference to them both as individuals and as part of the teams they are playing for.
“It’s personally exciting to be leading such an innovative programme that will really drive forward the development of the elite women’s game and hopefully help us meet our goal of a winning England team in 2023.”
Sampson said: “We have never been in a position to offer our young players comprehensive, well-resourced and well-supported individual development plans in a bespoke programme.
“With the 2019 World Cup on the horizon there is no better person than Marieanne, with her playing and coaching knowledge and expertise, to identify and develop future England players for international competition.
“On behalf of all of the staff and players, I would like to thank Marieanne for her hard work, support and friendship over the past three and a half years. When we started working with the team in January 2014, this team was ranked 12th in the world. Now we are fourth and Marieanne has played a key role in that.”
David Faulkner, FA head of women’s performance, added: "I am delighted to be working closely with Marieanne with her playing and coaching experience to develop a unique Lioness dual career performance player programme.”