Amy Merricks new head coach of England Women U-19s

Amy Merricks new head coach of England Women U-19s
K Hodgson/SPP

Brighton & Hove Albion’s assistant manager Amy Merricks has been appointed the new head coach of England Women U-19s.

Having led the Barclays Women’s Super League club as interim manager on three separate occasions, most recently in the last month where she was the league’s youngest-serving manager, Merricks will now leave the club and lead the Young Lionesses from the 2023/24 season onwards.

Amy Merricks said: “I am incredibly excited. It is an absolute honour to represent my country and join the England pathway. I am really grateful to The FA in general and Kay Cossington for the opportunity at such a pivotal time for the women’s game and the Lionesses and I can’t wait to get started.

“I have had a fantastic experience at Brighton. I have been with the club for eight years, starting with the Under-13s and the reserves, and progressing to the women’s first team. That has been a journey in itself but the time has come to take on a new challenge. The positive experiences and challenges I have had along the way are going to hold me in great stead going forward.

“With the progress that the England senior team have made under Sarina Wiegman, it is important we support that winning culture across the age groups so that players can be prepared to compete on the world stage.

“You can see that Sarina has a passion for ensuring young players have an opportunity when they deserve the chance. I’m looking forward to bringing knowledge and experience of developing individuals and teams domestically to ensure we continue to develop exciting young talent which can play a part in the Lionesses thriving.”

Her time at Brighton included being mentored for five years by former England head coach Hope Powell. She had been with the south coast club since July 2015 and rose through the coaching ranks.

She started as development squad head coach and became assistant manager, first to George Parris before Powell’s arrival in July 2017.

With coaching experience also at Gillingham and Millwall, Merricks is taking her UEFA Pro licence qualification with The FA, having already achieved her UEFA A licence as well as a distinction in the League Managers Association diploma in football management. At St. George’s Park, she will replace Emma Coates who is to take charge of the WU23s from this summer.

Merricks will work within The FA’s development team set-up which is led by Shelley Kerr. The former Scotland manager’s role as head of women’s development teams aims to drive the delivery and ambitions of England’s pathway sides and support connectivity and alignment up to the WU23s within the women’s technical directorate led by Kay Cossington.

Kay Cossington, FA women’s technical director, said: “We are thrilled Amy has agreed to join us. She will bring so much energy and enthusiasm to the role, and plenty of invaluable WSL experience from her time working day-to-day and in major competitive matches with a strong squad at Brighton.

“Working under Hope, she has gained an understanding of what it takes to be a high-level coach and she also knows the importance of developing young players and instilling in them what’s required on and off the pitch. Amy has a great future ahead of her, but I am sure her arrival will make an instant positive impact.”

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