England Women’s U19s head coach Mo Marley has today announced her retirement from the FA, bringing to an end a significant 25-year association with the Lionesses as both a player and head coach.
Marley is one of the most experienced and long-standing national head coaches working in the women’s professional development phase, having led the Women’s U19s squad from 2000 and worked across a number of age groups during this time.
Throughout her career she worked passionately to develop the women’s game in England, particularly on Merseyside where her work to develop girls and women’s football in the region earned her an MBE in 2005.
The Liverpool-based coach’s remarkable career in football began in 1987 when she joined Everton Ladies, enjoying a successful playing and managerial career over an impressive 24-year period. As a player, she helped Everton lift the Women’s FA Cup in 1989 and captained the team to the FA Women’s Premier League title in 1998.
Marley made her senior England debut in 1995 aged 28 and went on to earn 41 caps for her country as well as captaining the side at the 2001 European Championships.
In 2002, she was appointed manager of Everton Ladies, spending ten years in charge. During her reign Marley led the Toffees to the 2008 FA Women's Premier League Cup, 2010 FA Women's Cup and into the UEFA Women's Champions League on three occasions.
Her career with the FA also spanned two decades. While still playing for Everton and the Lionesses, Marley was appointed as assistant coach under the mentorship of Hope Powell in 1998, before becoming WU19 head coach in 2000.
Under her guidance the U19s achieved UEFA U19 EURO silver medals in 2007, 2010, 2013 and won the title in 2009 in Belarus.
Marley was also the head coach at the FIFA U20 World Cup in France 2018, where the team achieved a bronze medal after beating host nation France in a penalty shootout.
After a stepping in as interim manager of the England Women’s senior team in 2017-18, she opted to return to her role as a professional development coach to focus on player development.
“It's an immense privilege and pleasure to have played a part with England teams for the last 20 years," said Marley.
"I've been very lucky to be given an opportunity to do a job that I love and am so passionate about. I have so many amazing memories over the years working with different players and staff.
"I'm very grateful for the early opportunities I was offered to develop as a coach in the international environment and feel now is the time to step down, allowing other coaches to have those opportunities and to take England teams to the next level. I will be the best supporter ever and look forward to watching all our England teams in the future."
Our director of women’s football, Sue Campbell, added: “Mo was a true pioneer within the women’s game and we all owe her a huge debt of gratitude for her vision, passion and commitment.
“She will always be welcomed with open arms at St. George’s Park and we hope to be able to formally recognise her work at a forthcoming England match. We thank Mo for everything she has contributed to our journey and wish her and her family the very best for their next chapter.”
FA chief executive Mark Bullingham said: “We've been extremely privileged to have benefited from Mo’s tremendous talent and outstanding contribution for so many years. Her dedication to the coaching and development of women’s football has been fantastic and she will be hugely missed. We wish her every success and fulfilment with her retirement.”