Canada Soccer has named Bev Priestman as their new Women’s Head Coach, replacing Kenneth Heiner-Moller who left his position in June to return to Denmark as Head of Coach Education.
Priestman joins on a four-year contract from England where she was U18s manager and set to lead the Young Lionesses at FIFIA U17 Women’s World Cup in India until its postponement due to Coronavirus pandemic, after previously serving as Assistant Coach in the senior Lionesses team.
Speaking on her decision to take up the Women’s Head Coach role, Priestman said; “It is a n honour and privilege to return to Canada to lead such a talented group of players and a team with a fantastic history,”
Priestman noted the “great blend of experience and youth,” within the squad with the initial focus of the Olympics Games before building towards the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup which is to be jointly hosted by Australia and New Zealand, stating that she is “… excited as to what we can achieve together over the next quadrennial.”
England’s FA will now commence a search for a new Women’s U18s manager with Priestman speaking highly of her time within the setup, saying; “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time at the FA, particularly working closely with Phil Neville and the senior squad during an exciting two years which saw us reach the semi-finals of the Women’s World Cup,”
Priestman also admitted that she will take “special memories from that two year journey” whilst thanking Neville, FA staff across senior and U18 levels plus players for their role in helping create those memories.
Canada Soccer have confirmed that Priestman will take up her new position from 1 November 2020 as the Canucks continue preparations for next summer’s Olympics, where they’re looking to defend their Bronze Medal after beating hosts, Brazil in the Third-Placed Play-Off in 2016 Olympics.
Canada Soccer President, Steven Reed is “extremely pleased” with Priestman’s appointment following a previous stint within the FA as National EXCEL Director covering U15-U23 teams, in which she managed at seven tournaments of which five were in charge of U17 teams as well as one tournaments at U15 and U20 levels.
Reed in particular holds high praise for Priestman’s previous work within their youth system whilst also serving as Assistant Coach to the senior Women’s team, saying; “Bev’s contributions leading the Women’s National EXCEL Program and supporting the Women’s National Team as an Assistant Coach during her five-years with Canada Soccer set a solid foundation for success across all levels…”
Director of England Women’s Football, Baroness Sue Campbell meanwhile described Canada’s decision to hire Priestman as “… the perfect professional and personal fit for Bev.”
Campbell then added; “While it’s always sad to lose such a talented coach, it is testament to her abilities and experience in the women’s game that she has secured such a significant national role.”