Casey Stoney was never to San Diego. There is no name for the new NWSL team. Jill Ellis, a two-time World Cup winner coach, is their president. She then makes the call and you can listen. Stoney agreed to become their first coach.
Stoney tells Sky Sports, “I understood the ambition. I also knew what they wanted to build there. Starting from scratch.” It was an opportunity for me to make a mark and build something together with Jill. It was an opportunity I couldn’t refuse.
The weather is an added bonus.
Although San Diego has a reputation that is slightly different from Manchester United, it is the same job for Stoney, the former Manchester United manager. Stoney was instrumental in launching the team in 2018. The team won promotion immediately and finished fourth twice in top division.
The big difference is that San Diego will not join the expanded NWSL until next years. It took me four weeks to complete it in Manchester. We have more time here. Manchester United was a steep learning experience that proved to be very beneficial.
Stoney doesn’t want to dwell on the United exit. She wants to emphasize that there was a time gap between accepting her new role and leaving United. It is clear that it was difficult, as there were reports that team training programs weren’t all that great.
San Diego will have no problem with this.
Stoney says, “There will be world-class facilities.” Support will also be provided, in the form Ellis and Molly Downtain as the general managers who will “make sure that we have the right players” and “make sure they get the right staff.”
This whole thing will be entirely new for Stoney.
There are many nuances in how to recruit there, including wage caps, expansion drafts and college drafts. This is an opportunity to me to find out more and have support from my friends.
It is an enormous step. It is a huge step. Because I’ve played and worked for it over many years, the WSL is something I am familiar with. I am going to be challenged by the NWSL.
It will not only be exciting for Stoney and Megan, but also their three children. Stoney and Megan will move to California together with their children. Stoney wants to make sure that everything is in order, including a new home, new schools and a place to call her own before she makes this major life change.
She says, “It’s going to be an amazing experience for them.”
They are the right age and they can adapt. Because I have had the opportunity to work with Americans and play against them, I believe they’ll learn a lot.
Although Teddy loves football, it was Harry Maguire’s goal in the quarterfinals at Euro 2020 that inspired Teddy. She says that although he was at my Euros games as a manager, he felt he had a real connection with the men.
He has become completely obsessed by that. This just proves that you need visibility. Major tournaments are crucial for women’s soccer because they provide visibility and a platform that is unbeatable.
That was what I felt in London 2012 (at the Olympics). Because I couldn’t get up from the ground, we all went to Canada in Coventry.
I just knew it was possible to medal and be successful. The bigger your platform, the more people will watch. This is an enormous opportunity for women’s soccer to profit from. It is for this reason that I was disappointed Team GB didn’t medal in the World Cup.
With England hosting Euro 2022 next summer, there are more opportunities for women’s soccer. The opening match will be at Old Trafford. What a great platform! There is also a TV deal with the WSL, which is likely to act as a catalyst to growth.
It is huge. This is an important moment in the history of women’s sport. Sky will give Sky an incredible brand and platform. BBC will be broadcasting terrestrial TV so that everyone can have free access.
Stoney will be leaving behind all of that, naturally. Ellis already talks about San Diego’s “fiercely competive” beginning in the Atlantic. Her journey continues across the Atlantic. This is an opportunity for Ellis to be part of something extraordinary.
She explains that she wants to ensure the sustainability of something, not only in America. “I would like to be the best coach I can be. It’s another chance to push myself.”
Casey Stoney invites parents to register for McDonald’s Fun Football sessions. These are free to children 5-11 years old at over 350 locations across the UK. Find your nearest centre at: www.mcdonalds.co.uk/football
Publited Fri, 3 Sep 2021 at 08:06:53 +0000