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The managerial market in the women's game is difficult
It might currently be the January transfer window but over the past month, managers have taken centre stage. Chelsea’s recruitment process to replace Emma Hayes has seen stories about demands for a female manager and hints of a three person short list. Sarina Wiegman has extended her England contract to 2027, with Bev Priestman doing the same in Canada. Casey Stoney signed a new deal with San Diego Wave - ruling herself out of the Chelsea job - whilst Jonatan Giraldez was announced as the new Washington Spirit manager.
The demand for good managers within the women’s game is fast intensifying. As more clubs and nations invest resources into their teams, simply being the biggest spenders is no longer enough. But the managerial market is still restricted - elite jobs are few and far between and very few managers have a level of experience that justifies them as shoe-ins for a top job. The ones that do tend to be held onto very tightly by their current employers.
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Even what counts as significant experience can feel very overstated. Take Casey Stoney, for example. Stoney was probably the stand-out candidate for the Chelsea job. She has a personal link to the club, having been part of their academy and playing for them as an adult where she was briefly player-manager. She has twice demonstrated her ability to build teams from scratch with first Manchester United and now San Diego Wave. But she has only been in management for five seasons and in that time has won just the English second division and the NWSL Shield.
There is no doubt that Stoney is extremely talented but for her to be seen as pretty much the number one candidate says a lot about the paucity of potential names available. It also highlights the fact that teams are forced to look beyond CVs - not necessarily a bad thing.