England Women manager should be appointed on merit, says Jayne Ludlow

The Wales manager also reacts to news of the female-majority owned, Serena Williams-backed Angel City FC being granted a place in the US' NWSL

Steph Houghton, Rachel Daly and Millie Bright train with England Women manger Phil Neville 0:47
Wales boss Jayne Ludlow would welcome a female England Women's coach but says the best person, irrespective of gender, should get the role

Jayne Ludlow believes whoever inherits the England Women's job should do so on merit, irrespective of whether they are male or female.

The FA is yet to name a successor to Phil Neville, who stepped down in April following the SheBelieves Cup, where England won only one of their three matches.

But Wales boss Ludlow thinks that the role should go to the best person regardless of gender, providing the recruitment process is free of gender bias.

"It would be fantastic, it would be a great thing for female coaches to aspire to and to understand that there is an opportunity for them to get to that level - especially if they are an English coach," Ludlow said.

"It would be lovely to see that a female does get that opportunity but that's only if a female that applies is at the level that is required.

"It is not a case of giving people these jobs, they have to earn them, but it would be great to think that it is a very open contest and there are no gender biases there."

Phil Neville during an England Women's training session
Image: Phil Neville stepped down earlier this year

The role is proving to be a highly coveted one with it being revealed recently that 142 candidates had applied for the chance to succeed Neville.

Also See:

The FA faces a difficult decision as to whether to hire someone with a strong background in women's football or appoint somebody with a perceived big profile as they did with Neville.

While well known thanks to a playing career with Manchester United, Everton and England, Neville was criticised for landing the position in 2018 despite a perceived lack of coaching experience.

However, Ludlow thinks the appointment will be determined by what strategy the association want to pursue.

England players huddle during the 2020 SheBelieves Cup 0:53
Ludlow sees no reason why England cannot have success providing they find the right replacement for Neville

"Obviously the number one priority, I'm guessing, is to win things, not get to semi-finals but to get finals and actually win. That's the target for them," Ludlow said.

"It depends on what the overarching strategy is and what you are trying to do for the game, and I'm not party to that with regards to the FA.

"It is a very different to the smaller nations like ourselves [Wales], but one that is achievable for them if they get the right person.

"That's how I look at it, they have got a really strong, big pool of players to choose from and if they get the tactical decisions and the staff grouping around that correct, then there is no reason why they can't have success in the future."

'Serena Williams-backed Angel City FC will help grow game'

Speaking on the Women's Football Show, Ludlow also expressed excitement at news that Los Angeles-based Angel City FC had been granted an expansion place in the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) from 2022.

It is an ambitious female-majority venture with a twist, though, with Hollywood A-listers, former US international Abby Wambach and Williams among those to have stakes in the club.

Serena Williams of the United States reacts while competing against Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia during the 2020 Fed Cup qualifier between USA and Latvia at Angel of the Winds Arena on February 08, 2020 in Everett, Washington. 1:59
The new female majority-owned LA-based team being backed by Serena Williams will help grow the women's game, according to Ludlow

"It's fantastic, hopefully other clubs around the world will do something similar," Ludlow said.

"It's just great to have the types of personalities involved and backing a project like that, for the female game I think it is going to be a fantastic opportunity.

"If you are a top-level player right now, I am sure that might be on your radar to go and live in that part of the world and compete at the top level too.

"It'll be interesting to see what type of team they do end up collecting together."

Super 6: Who makes play-offs? Who goes down?

Super 6: Who makes play-offs? Who goes down?

Do not miss your chance to land the £250,000 for a sixth time this season on Wednesday. Play for free, entries by 6pm.

Around Sky