Female head coach a possibility for Forest Green Rovers, says chairman Dale Vince

Forest Green Rovers chairman Dale Vince
Dale Vince has transformed Forest Green Rovers into a vegan and carbon-neutral club

Forest Green chairman Dale Vince says he would consider appointing a female head coach to succeed Mark Cooper.

“I think we’ll take a new direction in our recruitment. Maybe we’ll break some new ground,” Vince told BBC Points West.

“We’ll recruit the kind of person perhaps that hasn’t been recruited before to be a head coach.”

Asked if he was hinting at appointing a female head coach, Vince replied: “I don’t want to hint, but it could be.

“It is missing in men’s football, but so are BAME [Black, Asian and minority ethnic] head coaches.

“Everything is possible with us, because we don’t come at this in any preconceived way or in a way it has always been done.”

Cooper was appointed by the Gloucestershire club in May 2016, and led Rovers to promotion from the National League in his first full season in charge.

But, following a six-match winless run which has seen them drop to five points adrift of the automatic promotion places, under-18s boss Jimmy Ball has been placed in interim charge at The innocent New Lawn until the end of the campaign.

English men’s football awaits first female boss

A female manager or head coach is yet to be appointed by a Premier League or English Football League club.

Chelsea boss Emma Hayes, who has led the Blues to three Women’s Super League titles and two Women’s FA Cups, was linked to the AFC Wimbledon job in February.

However, the 44-year-old said the notion that women’s football is a step down from the men’s game was “an insult”.

Prior to her three and a half years as Scotland boss, Shelley Kerr took charge of Lowland League club Stirling University in 2014, making her the first female manager in Scottish senior men’s football.

On the continent, Corinne Diacre spent three years as manager of French Ligue 2 side Clermont Foot before taking charge of France’s female national team in 2017.

Rovers seek ‘progressive’ candidate

Rovers chairman Vince, 59, says he had some “very interesting” applications among 70 CVs he had received by Monday lunchtime, but will take his time over an appointment.

“We are very excited about the kind of people knocking on our door,” he added.

“We’ll be looking for a progressive and more modern approach to the game.

“We’ll be looking for somebody that really fits the football philosophy we have as a club, and that will take a little bit of time.”

Vince has taken an innovative approach to running Rovers, which has been hailed as “the greenest club in the world”.

Earlier this year, Forest Green launched a new shirt partly made of coffee waste, and the club have planning permission to build a new wooden stadium next to junction 13 of the M5.

BBC News