Who will coach the Team GB football team at the Tokyo Olympics?

L-R Casey Stoney, Phil Neville and Sarina Wiegman were all considered to be in the fray for the Team GB coaching role.

As things stand, Team Great Britain’s football team will be without a coach for the Tokyo Olympics. Sarina Wiegman’s stint begins only in September of 2021, leaving the Football Association [FA] with a gap to plug. The FA is yet to appoint a coach for the games, which was postponed to 2021 due to Covid-19.

Current boss Phil Neville would have overseen matters had the Games taken place this year. He will still honour his contract, which runs out in July 2021. His replacement, Sarina Wiegman will take charge only after fulfilling her commitments with Netherlands in Tokyo.

The 2021 Olympics will go on from 23rd July until 8th August. Asking Neville to stay on until the end of the Games seems like the most plausible option. But has the FA disregarded it by announcing Wiegman’s arrival last week? In a press statement, they said an announcement regarding the Olympics would be made in “due course.”

Convince Casey Stoney

One name that had been mooted as a possible stop-gap solution is Man United women boss Casey Stoney. Stoney captained Team GB at the London Olympics in 2012. She represented Arsenal and Chelsea before ending her distinguished playing career with the Liverpool ladies. Stoney has been capped 130 times by England before becoming the first head coach of the newly formed Manchester United women in 2018.   

But she has since distanced herself from the rumours linking her for the short-term job. Club commitments remain top priority for Stoney. 

Casey Stoney, third from the left, captained Team Great Britain’s football team at the London Olympics, 2012.

“My future and my commitment is for this club,” said Stoney, who is preparing United for their second season in the Women’s Super League. “Every summer is an important one in terms of recruitment and building.  

“It would be a fantastic opportunity for anyone to take that. I was a captain at a home Olympics and it’s an incredible experience.
“As a head coach, it’s a great experience of preparing a team in a short turnaround of tournament football. But I think for me my commitment is here.”

Stoney, who was Phil Neville’s assistant for the Three Lionesses will look to improve upon United’s fourth place finish in the pandemic curtailed WSL season. Her Manchester United side will kickstart their 2020-21 season against defending champions Chelsea on 6th September.  

It’s only a short-term assigment but a big one that! Would the FA have to look elsewhere to make the hire?

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