Hege Riise is set to become England Women interim manager after Phil Neville left the role to join David Beckham’s Inter Miami, and her appointment will be announced in the next 24-48 hours.
Riise, 51, had been working as a coach within the successful USA women’s national team set-up and enjoyed an impressive playing career, knocking up 188 caps for Norway, the most in the country’s history for both men and women.
She won Olympic gold with Norway at the 2000 Olympics and will take charge of the Lionesses until Sarina Wiegman, current boss of the Netherlands, comes in to take the job on a full-time basis in September.
- Neville leaves England Women
- ‘Wiegman will win trophies for England’
- Women’s football transfer fees surpass $1m for first time
Neville, 43, had been due to leave his England role in July but his move to the United States forced an early exit on Monday – and with Wiegman due to remain in her current post for this summer’s rearranged Games in Tokyo – the Football Association have opted it bring in Riise for the short term.
Neville was due to lead hosts England into the Women’s European Championships next year but he stepped down after it was confirmed the tournament will be postponed until July 2022.
In a statement, Neville said: “It has been an honour to manage England and I have enjoyed three of the best years of my career with The FA and the Lionesses.
“The players who wear the England shirt are some of the most talented and dedicated athletes I have ever had the privilege to work with. They have challenged me and improved me as a coach, and I am very grateful to them for the fantastic memories we have shared.
“I’d like to thank The FA for the tremendous backing they have given me, in particular Sue Campbell and my talented support staff whose energy, commitment and enthusiasm has been crucial to helping us make the progress we have.
“I wish England Women every success in the future and look forward to following their journey in the years to come.”
Neville’s departure also means the FA needs a replacement to manage the Team GB women’s football team for the upcoming Olympic Games.
The MLS season starts in March and with Team GB having training camps scheduled for the months leading up to the Games, the FA will now look for someone new to lead the team, which will be considered separately to the England job.
‘Wiegman will win trophies for England’
Former England international Sue Smith is confident Sarina Wiegman will lead the Lionesses to their first major tournament success.
England have reached the semi-finals of the past two World Cups and the final four of Euro 2017, where they were beaten by a Netherlands side managed by Wiegman.
Her appointment, Smith told The Women’s Football Show on Sky Sports, will have been made with bringing an end to the silverware drought in mind.
“She’s been brought in to do that because England have been so close on so many occasions,” she said.
“When we lost to Japan [in 2015] to an own goal that was so close and even when we were beaten by the United States [in 2019], who are a great side, it was all about the small margins – Steph Houghton’s missed penalty, the offside goal.
“Whether it’s about tactics or a winning mentality, she has something that can take England on to win something and you have to believe that.
“When a manager comes in who has already won things, as a player you look to them and you want to learn from them because you want to win things too.”
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