|Role:||Head Coach German Women's national Football Team|
Stephanie Ann “Steffi” Jones (born 22 December 1972) is a German football manager and former player who currently manages the German women’s national team. A defender, she earned 111 caps for the national team between 1993 and 2007, helping her country win three consecutive European Championships. After retiring from active football, Jones worked as a football administrator, in charge of organising the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany, before becoming a manager.
Article from March 2017 – FIFA.com
When you hear the word hat-trick, then perhaps Cristiano Ronaldo’s name comes to mind. After all, the Portuguese has made a habit of scoring trebles in the UEFA Champions League of late. Perhaps some FIFA World Cup™ legends also spring to mind: Gerd Muller, Geoff Hurst or maybe Gabriel Batistuta. Germany coach Steffi Jones, however, is on the verge of a very different kind of hat-trick.
On the field, Jones twice represented Germany at the FIFA Women’s World Cup™, in 1999 and 2003. Off the field, she was President of the FIFA Women’s World Cup Germany 2011 Organising Committee, overseeing a memorable event. Now, Jones stands on the touchline, ready to lead Germany into the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019, her first global showpiece as coach.
“It’s a great challenge,” Jones told FIFA.com of her new role in an interview following the qualifying draw for the 2019 Women’s World Cup. “As President of the Organising Committee I didn’t really know what I was supposed to do, but it was a great experience and it really made me grow as a person.
“Now as a coach, my dream is coming true,” she said. “I’m standing on the touchline and trying to make my team go far. I’m taking it step by step. I’m not perfect. I’m just human. That’s what the players know and everybody around me, too: that I’m just trying my best.
“I always want to give my team the belief that many things are possible,” said Jones. “Don’t be arrogant, but be confident in what we can achieve as a team. If the other team is better on the day? Fine, as long as we gave our best. At the moment we’re top of the world rankings. So why shouldn’t I dream of becoming world champion?”
First things first, though. Jones needs to ensure her side navigate a qualifying group in which Germany have been drawn against Iceland, Czech Republic, Slovenia and the Faroe Islands. Before attention turns to France 2019, however, Jones is concentrating solely on preparing her squad for the UEFA Women’s EURO, which takes place in the Netherlands this European summer.
“I really try to give young players a chance,” said Jones, who won the EURO as a player in 1997, 2001 and 2005. “Preparations are going well. Every team has the same problems with the Champions League, a lot of games in the league and injured players. But I’m not complaining. I’m excited for the EURO and we all want to have our best squad at the tournament.”
Her former successes as a player make Jones a role model, but she has proved equally pioneering off the pitch since her retirement in 2007, developing women’s football alongside former team-mates Silvia Neid and Birgit Prinz. “That’s something that I always try to tell the players: that they are on a level that we worked hard for,” said Jones.
“Everybody worked hard: the functionaries; the federation; me as a role model. The game has become more athletic; it’s now a well-balanced competition,” she continued. “These players have to know that they’re also role models and they have to work hard for what is to come for the next generation. I don’t think most of the players know how much work it was to get to where we are now.”
Working together for success
Jones has taken a long road, and it is far from reaching an end. She recognises that more work needs to be done to further the growth of women’s football and has her own suggestion as to how to build on the improvements of recent years.
“We need to work more together,” concluded Jones. “It’s not men’s football and women’s football, it’s one sport, but it’s different in organisation sometimes. The structure in women’s football is not always the same as in men’s football. The sponsors may not be the same, but it’s one sport and if we work together – and not against each other – then many things are possible.”
Article from August 2016:
Steffi Jones has taken over as the head coach of Germany’s national women’s football team. The former national-team player replaces Silvia Neid, who stepped down after winning gold in Rio.
The 43-year-old Jones was officially unveiled at a press conference in Frankfurt on Wednesday. She used the platform to speak about her ambitious plans to take Germany forward following Neid’s retirement after 11 years at the helm.
“If we’re going to do something, we’ll do it right,” Jones aid.” And that’s why we want the title at the European championship next year.”
The former midfielder made 111 appearances for Germany but has no previous coaching experience. She conceded that she had big shoes to fill, but said she was convinced that she was up to the task.
“I know what I capable of and I would not have taken the job if I thought I couldn’t have done it,” she said. “For me, it’s a dream job. I don’t want to follow in Silvia’s footsteps, but successfully continue her work with my own signature as Steffi Jones,” she said.
Neid’s record as coach of the national team is impressive, having led Germany to victory at the 2007 women’s World Cup, as well as the 2009 and 2013 European championships, before winning the gold medal at the summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro last weekend.
Jones’ first tests as head coach will come next month when Germany face Russia and Hungary in qualifying for next year’s European championship in the Netherlands.
As the daughter of a German mother and US soldier, Jones, who grew up in Frankfurt, is a citizen of both countries.