Jonas Eidevall on lack of top flight female coaches: Football’s most ‘under-tapped resource’

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Jonas Eidevall has labelled the lack of female coaches working in top flight football the ‘biggest under-tapped resource in professional football’.

Following Lydia Bedford’s sacking by Leicester and Hope Powell’s resignation at Brighton earlier this season, just four of the 12 clubs in the WSL are now managed by women: Emma Hayes at Chelsea, Carla Ward at Aston Villa, Rehanne Skinner at Tottenham and Kelly Chambers at Reading.

When asked about the low numbers of female coaches working in the top division of women’s football in England, Eidevall emphasised the fact that the problem extends beyond the WSL to the men’s game. There has never been a woman in charge of a Premier League or Football League side.

“It’s not the WSL that’s the problem,” the Arsenal boss said. “The problem is that you see in all the technical staff in all the professional clubs in the men’s side – how many female technical staff do you have in the game?

“It’s incredible when you see in all other parts of society: you can have female prime ministers, you can have female presidents, but you can’t have a female coach coaching in the Premier League for some reason? Why?

“I think it has to be the singlehandedly the most under-tapped resource that’s in professional football: it’s female coaches.”

Former NWSL defender Julianne Sitch made history in December by becoming the first woman to lead a men’s soccer team to a national championship. Sitch guided the University of Chicago to the NCAA Division III title with victory over Williams College.

In 2020, Mary Phillip became the first woman in English football to guide a senior men’s side to a club cup competition triumph, leading non-league Peckham Town to the London Senior Trophy.

“There is no reason why you can’t be female and be a top coach,” Eidevall added.

“That is a big problem that there are not more female coaches, but that’s not the WSL in isolation. That’s the whole game. I can’t get my head around how that is possible. That still now nothing happens and people are very content that nothing is happening.”

Planet League’s Rich Holmes & Sustainable Clarets’ Cat Jebson join Shebahn Aherne to have football’s climate conversation ahead of Green Football Weekend. If you can’t see this embed, click here to listen to the podcast!

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