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Kelly Smith: Female Premier League manager ‘not in my lifetime’ (UK)

England legend Kelly Smith fears she will not see a female coach in charge of one of the country’s top division men’s teams in her lifetime, unless attitudes within boardrooms significantly change.

Smith enjoyed a 19-year international career with England and is the country’s record female goal scorer. She is delighted at how some aspects of the game are evolving — she recounts how she used to wear oversized men’s football kit when she started her England career — and is encouraged by the growing attendances for the women’s game, but fears the game is still playing catch-up when it comes to attitudes around females coaching in the men’s side of the game.

There are trailblazers like Imke Wubbenhorst at fifth-tier German side BV Cloppenburg but attitudes in the U.K. are taking longer to shift, with Natasha Orchard-Smith at ninth-tier English side Arlesey Town the only female to hold a coaching position in semi-professional men’s football, according to the FA.

When asked whether we will see females coaching in the male professional English leagues, Smith told ESPN FC: “Personally, I don’t see that in my lifetime. I think there’s still a long way to go in terms of earning that respect and women being allowed to coach in the men’s game at the Premier League level.



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