Seven female coaches joining England women’s development teams

Remi Allen to work with England Women's U-23 squad
Remi Allen is to work with England Women’s U-23 squad this season. (James Whitehead / SPP)

The FA and Professional Footballers Association have confirmed a new phase of the Elite Coach Programme for England women’s development teams for the 2023-24 season.

The England Elite Coach Programme is jointly owned by The FA and the PFA as part of a shared commitment to develop greater equality of coaching opportunities and increase the diversity of coaches working in the game.

The programme is designed to give successful applicants the essential experience, skills and knowledge to obtain roles in elite and national coaching and technical roles in football in the future.

The programme, which sits alongside a similar scheme in the men’s game, is particularly focused on female applicants and those of Black, Asian, Mixed or other ethnic backgrounds.

Seven female coaches from across the game were successful within the application process and will be joining the England women’s development teams from WU23s through to WU15s groups:

Coach – Team – Club and role
Remi Allen – WU23s – Birmingham City, player
Emily Simpkins – WU19s – Birmingham City, first team coach
Carly Williams – WU17s – Arsenal, academy player care lead and WU21 assistant coach
Renee Hector – WU17s – Watford, WU21s head coach
Estelle Handy – WU16s – Formerly Charlton Athletic, WU14s head coach
Sabiha Jamal – WU16s – West Ham United, WU16s coach
Manisha Tailor – WU15s, QPR, assistant head of coaching in the boys’ academy

Coventry United - Womens Championship - The Oakwood
Emily Simpkins will work with the England WU19 squad during the 2023-24 season. (Pedro Porru/SPP)

All seven coaches will be embedded with their respective technical coaching teams and enjoy an active role throughout the 2023-24 season, assisting with the delivery of coaching sessions and participating in technical meetings before, during and after each international camp.

This will provide them with the opportunity to gain vital knowledge, understanding and skills through learning and development opportunities.

Two of the coaches, Carly Williams and Estelle Handy, were a part of the 2022-2023 ‘Mentee Development Programme’ run by The FA’s coach inclusion and diversity manager Butch Fazal.

The FA’s mentoring scheme gave ten coaches [five male and five female] an individualised learning and development experience, providing regular exposure to The FA’s technical department and a valuable platform to opportunities such as the Elite England Coaching Programme.

Former England international Anita Asante will also join the England women’s under-23s coaching team. Capped 71 times for her country, Asante will support Emma Coates’ Young Lionesses as they participate in a busy season of fixtures against strong European opposition.

Kay Cossington, The FA’s women’s technical director, told “We’re delighted to welcome these seven highly motivated and talented coaches into our development teams.

“We have a shared commitment with the PFA to the development of quality coaches and to also encourage more females from historically underrepresented groups to seek a fulfilling and successful career in coaching.

“We’re confident those we’ve appointed will benefit from the high-performance environment that our England teams operate within and make an extremely positive impact to the age groups they’re now part of.”

Mark Jules, coach educator at the PFA, added: “This is a great opportunity for female PFA members on their coaching journey to gain experience working with the various England development teams.

“The aim of the PFA and the FA, through this scheme, is to support these talented female coaches from underrepresented groups during their coaching pathway. The England Elite Coach Programme will enhance their knowledge, skills and understanding through working in this elite high-performance environment.”

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