Mo Marley has been appointed interim head coach of the England Women’s team.
The appointment means Marley will step up from her role in charge of the U19s to guide the senior team for the friendly away to France on 20 October and the two home FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifiers against Bosnia and Herzegovina on 24 November and Kazakhstan four days later, at Walsall and Colchester respectively.
Marley said: “It is a privilege to be asked to work with the senior team on an interim basis, especially when I have witnessed the dedication both players and staff have shown to become the third best team in the world.
“Having watched them at close quarters in the past few years, I know they are a fantastic group of people on and off the pitch.
“It will be my job to step in and ensure they stay focused on the World Cup qualification. We know these players are talented and I know they are capable of great things in the future.”
A UEFA Pro Licence holder and former England captain, Marley has been in charge of England U19s – first in a mentoring role from 1998-2001, then as head coach from 2001.
Marley has a strong track record in club and international football. In July 2009, she guided England, featuring seven of the current Lionesses squad, to the UEFA European U19 Women’s Championship title – with silver medals won in 2007, 2010 and 2013.
This summer, under Marley, the U19s secured qualification for the 2018 FIFA Women’s U20 World Cup in France, a year before the senior edition takes place in the same country. Lydia Bedford will take on interim head coach duties for the U19s for their European qualifiers next month.
The process to appoint a full-time head coach to replace Mark Sampson, after his departure last week, is expected to begin shortly. A decision on a permanent successor is due in the new year, well ahead of the resumption of World Cup qualifying in April.
Prior to joining The FA, Marley was a successful coach at Everton Ladies, winning the 2010 FA Women’s Cup to go with the medal she won as a player in 1989, and she performed both roles until stepping away from her club duties in October 2012.
During her playing days she won 42 caps and led England at the 2001 Euros. She was made an MBE in December 2005 for her services to football on Merseyside.
Sue Campbell, FA head of women’s football, said: “This has been an extremely challenging time for everyone connected with the game but, given her vast experience, Mo is absolutely the right person to help guide us through.
“I am sure the team will show their usual professionalism and positivity over the coming months and will respond well to Mo’s leadership.”
Dan Ashworth, FA technical director, added: “Mo was the obvious choice to take over the team as she has in-depth knowledge of the women’s game and importantly knows the players well.
“She is a very influential figure at St. George’s Park and highly regarded at home and abroad. She will be well supported by the team staff and the wider technical division.”
Tickets for the Bosnia and Kazakhstan matches are on sale priced at just £1 each for children and concessions. Group booking and Charter Standard discounts also apply.