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Hannah Dingley: Forest Green Rovers make history by appointing first female manager of England’s men’s professional team

Forest Green Rovers have confirmed the breakthrough appointment of Hannah Dingley as interim head coach.

Dingley assumed the role following the departure of Duncan Ferguson, making her the first woman to take charge of a men’s professional team in England.


The League 2 team broke new ground in English footballCredit: Twitter @FGRFCOfficial

“Hannah was the natural choice for us to be interim first-team head coach – she has done a fantastic job leading our academy and is well aligned with the values ​​of the club,” said the chairman. of Forest Green, Dale Vince.

“It is perhaps telling for men’s football that by making this appointment on merit we will break new ground – and Hannah will be the first female head coach in English (men’s) football.”

Dingley will continue preparations for the club’s first pre-season game against non-League Melksham Town on Wednesday night.

“I’m really excited for this next step in my career. The pre-season has just started and the full season is starting very soon. It’s an exciting time in football,” Dingley said.

Hannah Dingley: Forest Green Rovers make history by appointing first female manager of England's men's professional team
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“I am grateful to have the opportunity to step in and lead such a progressive and forward-thinking club.”

Forest Green have already demonstrated their willingness to move away from the conventional in their recruitment of head coaches.

In May 2021, Vince told the PA news agency that a coach working in the Women’s Super League had been a standout candidate to become the club’s new boss until it emerged her CV had been introduced without his knowledge.

Commenting on Ferguson’s departure earlier on Tuesday, Vince said: “It has been a privilege to work with Dunc over the past few months and it was a very difficult decision to make.

Vince never hesitated to make a big decision


Vince never hesitated to make a big decision1 credit
Ferguson was only in charge of Forest Green for five months


Ferguson was only in charge of Forest Green for five monthsCredit: Getty

“I am grateful to Dunc for joining us in such difficult circumstances and for all his hard work at the club.

“But I think it’s overall the right decision for everyone and I wish Dunc well in his next coaching role. We are parting as friends. You can’t ask for much more than that.”


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