Hege Riise to take temporary charge of England Women in February after Phil Neville exit

Hege Riise replaces Phil Neville to lead Lionesses in their February training camp; Netherlands coach Sarina Wiegman will take job on full-time basis in September; Norway's record-appearance holder Riise previously worked as assistant manager of the successful USA Women's national team

Hege Riise 0:15
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says fellow Norwegian Hege Riise will be an asset for England Women

Hege Riise will take temporary charge of England Women after former head coach Phil Neville left to join Inter Miami.

Riise had already been appointed as assistant to the Lionesses' coaching staff on a short-term contract at the end of December, but will now step up to lead the squad during their February training camp.

She will be assisted by ex-Canadian international Rhian Wilkinson and Kay Cossington, having previously worked as assistant manager of the successful USA women's national team.

As a player, the 51-year-old won Olympic gold with Norway at the 2000 Olympics - as well as the 1995 World Cup and 1993 European Championships - establishing Norway's record number of appearances for both men and women with 188.

Riise will take charge of the Lionesses until Sarina Wiegman, current boss of the Netherlands, comes in to take the job on a full-time basis in September.

"I'm excited about the opportunity I've been given to work with England Women," Riise said. "This is a proud and ambitious team that I look forward to working with and I am confident of making a positive impact when I meet up with the squad in February."

She added to Norway's TV2: "I've known about it for a while, but it's nice to get it out. I'm very happy. I have experience as a player and coach, and I felt it was time to step out and try when the opportunity lay there. It is an attractive job, which I am of course looking forward to a lot.

Also See:

"It is to take over after a big name. I do not know him [Neville]. I want to talk to the team that is left to get as much information and knowledge as possible about how it is and what Rhian and I can contribute to the team there.

"I have seen many matches with England and have a good overview of those who have been in and out of the national team, and then there is a lot of knowledge among those around me. It should go well."

FA Director of Women's Football, Baroness Sue Campbell said: "I am delighted to welcome Hege Riise and Rhian Wilkinson to the England coaching team, having had positive discussions with them in recent weeks.

"They bring significant international experience and will help guide our players before the arrival of Sarina Wiegman as our new head coach to lead us into the home EURO in 2022.

"Once February is complete, we will sit down and assess the Lionesses situation and consider next steps for Team GB in consultation with the home nations and the British Olympic Association.

"At the same time, we are committed to helping English coaching talent as underlined by the announcement made last month about a number of roles across development teams. The Lionesses pathway has already helped Casey Stoney, Bev Priestman and Rehanne Skinner to secure prominent roles in the game and we are confident more will follow."

Neville, 43, had been due to leave his England role in July but his move to the United States forced an early exit on Monday - and with Wiegman due to remain in her current post for this summer's rearranged Games in Tokyo, the FA have opted it bring in Riise for the short term, despite no current scheduled fixtures for the Lionesses.

Phil Neville 1:28
Phil Neville 'brought a winning mentality' to England Women, says Sue Smith, as the FA confirm he has left his role as head coach ahead of his expected move to take charge at Inter Miami

Neville was due to lead hosts England - who have not played since March 2020 because of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic - into the Women's Euros next year, but he stepped down after it was postponed until July 2022.

In a statement, Neville said: "It has been an honour to manage England and I have enjoyed three of the best years of my career with The FA and the Lionesses.

"The players who wear the England shirt are some of the most talented and dedicated athletes I have ever had the privilege to work with. They have challenged me and improved me as a coach, and I am very grateful to them for the fantastic memories we have shared.

"I'd like to thank The FA for the tremendous backing they have given me, in particular Sue Campbell and my talented support staff whose energy, commitment and enthusiasm has been crucial to helping us make the progress we have.

Lucy Bronze in action for England against Norway 0:51
England defender Lucy Bronze says she is looking forward to working with incoming head coach Sarina Wiegman when she starts in September 2021

"I wish England Women every success in the future and look forward to following their journey in the years to come."

Neville's departure also means the FA needs a replacement to manage the Team GB women's football team for the upcoming Olympic Games. Neville was set to lead Team GB, but was never officially confirmed in the role.

The FA remain the home nation association who will provide the manager for Team GB women's team after they were nominated to do so in consultation with Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Team GB do not select the head coach of any sport competing at the Olympics and it is instead left to the national federation or association for that sport - football, in this instance - with the FA beginning their search imminently.

Who is Hege Riise?

Considered to be one of the best players in the women's game for her generation, Riise has been a trailblazer in her native Norway, becoming the most capped player of all time for both men and women with 58 goals in 188 caps.

She retired from international football in 2004 having won the World Cup, the Euros and Olympic gold - and the previous year the Norwegian Football Association named her the best female Norwegian footballer ever.

Riise played for Carolina Courage in the United States, twice named the team's Most Valuable Player.

She made the move into coaching in 2007, becoming head coach of Team Strømmen in Norway, leading them to a second-place league finish in 2008 and to a cup final, where they finished runners-up.

Riise then led Norway U23s before she moved into the USA women's national team set up, serving as their assistant boss for thee years from 2009 to 2012, before moving to Norwegian club LSK Kvinner where she won six successive league titles from 2014 to 2019.

Nominated for the FIFA Best Women's Coach award in December 2020, she lost out to Wiegman, who will replace Riise at the England Women helm in September.

'Wiegman will win trophies for England'

 Sarina Wiegman 0:33
Andries Jonker says Wiegman coaches with a similar style to Johan Cruyff

Former England international Sue Smith is confident Sarina Wiegman will lead the Lionesses to their first major tournament success when she takes charge later this year.

England have reached the semi-finals of the past two World Cups and the final four of Euro 2017, where they were beaten by a Netherlands side managed by Wiegman.

Following her appointment, Smith told The Women's Football Show on Sky Sports, will have been made with bringing an end to the silverware drought in mind.

"She's been brought in to do that because England have been so close on so many occasions," she said.

"When we lost to Japan [in 2015] to an own goal that was so close and even when we were beaten by the United States [in 2019], who are a great side, it was all about the small margins - Steph Houghton's missed penalty, the offside goal.

"Whether it's about tactics or a winning mentality, she has something that can take England on to win something and you have to believe that.

"When a manager comes in who has already won things, as a player you look to them and you want to learn from them because you want to win things too."

'Neville helped women's team gain more respect'

England v USA - FIFA Women's World Cup 2019 - Semi Final - Stade de Lyon
England head coach Phil Neville (left) and Ellen White after the final whistle during the FIFA Women's World Cup Semi Final match at the Stade de Lyon. 0:29
England striker Ellen White believes Phil Neville helped England Women become 'respected more'

England and Manchester City striker Ellen White says Neville's stature within football helped the women's national team gain more respect and recognition.

White was England's top scorer on their way to the semi-final of the 2019 World Cup, netting six times - and she paid tribute to Neville's influence to put greater spotlight on the women's game.

"Trying to get the women's game noticed more, projected in the spotlight more, respected more," White told Sky Sports News.

"His stature and what he achieved in the men's game, and him coming over to the women's game - it really helped us achieve those things.

"I think it's really helped us moving forward as a national team."

Back to back Super 6 winners?

Back to back Super 6 winners?

One lucky winner won £250,000 for free on Saturday. Could you be next? Play for free, entries by 6:00pm Tuesday

Around Sky