Brighton Women made a managerial coup this week, by appointing ex-England women’s boss Hope Powell as their new Women’s manager. The 50-year-old already has an impressive managerial career and has broken down some barriers in women’s football. In 1998 Powell agreed to retire from football to take over as England Women’s manager.
This broke a few barriers when Powell took over as manager, as she became the youngest coach of an English national football team at just 31. She also became the first woman and first BAME (Black, Asian and minority ethnic) manager to be in charge of the England women’s team.
Powell had a long stint as England Women’s manager as she managed them from 1998 to 2013. Powell in her time as England Women’s manager led the Lioness’s to Euro 2009 final and also took them to the quarter final of the Women’s World Cup in 2011.
Powell also had the honour of managing the Great British Olympic Women’s football team at the London 2012 Olympics. This week, the 50-year-old became Brighton Women’s manager taking over from George Parris, who was temporarily placed in charge last year after the sacking of James Marrs.
Paul Barber spoke to the club’s website and said: “Hope is someone with an outstanding record in coaching, playing and management within football – she is also someone I know well from my time at The Football Association.
“She has an incredible wealth of coaching experience at the very highest level, and had a very impressive career as a player too.
“We feel Hope is the right person to take our women’s team forward, as we look to gain promotion and establish ourselves as a FA Women’s Super League 1 side.
“This appointment also further demonstrates the ongoing commitment that the chairman, myself and the board of directors have in promoting women’s football at the club.”
Powell also spoke to the club’s website and said: “I am delighted to be back in management at a club that has so much ambition with an amazing infrastructure both on and off the pitch.
“I have followed the club’s progress closely and I was thrilled to hear news of their well-deserved promotion to the FA Women’s Super League last year.
“The team had a solid campaign in this year’s Spring Series, and the task is now to build a side that is capable of mounting a challenge for promotion into FA Women’s Super League 1.”
The appointment of Powell, in my opinion, is a good one, as it is nice to see a woman in charge of the women’s team with the previous two Brighton Women’s managers being male.
Also, the appointment is a great one as it means both the Men’s first team manager and the Women’s first team manager are both BAME managers In Chris Hughton and Hope Powell.
This I think is a great step and one other clubs should look at as there are only a handful of BAME managers in English football at the moment and at a time when the Rooney Rule is being considered to be brought into football, it is one clubs should certainly consider. For those who don’t know what the Rooney Rule it is in use in the National Football League (NFL) where when they are interviewing for a new head coach, they must interview a BAME candidate for the post.
Editor’s Note: The 4th Official neither agrees nor disagrees with the views espoused in this column.