Scotland: Shelley Kerr steps down as head coach of national side – BBC Sport

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Shelley Kerr
Shelley Kerr said it was the right time to move on

Scotland head coach Shelley Kerr has stepped down from her role.

Kerr, appointed in 2017, guided the women’s national side to their first World Cup appearance last year – their second major finals in a row.

However, the Scots missed out on a place at the Euros in 2022 and Kerr says it is “the right time for me to look ahead to the next chapter”.

SFA chief executive Ian Maxwell said Kerr’s impact on the women’s game could not be underestimated.

Kerr left the job of managing the Stirling University men’s team to replace Anna Signeul as Scotland head coach three years ago.

The Scots made it two major finals in a row with their first World Cup appearance last year and they were on course to make the knockout stages with a 3-0 lead against Argentina.

However, a late collapse meant Argentina secured a 3-3 draw and controversy surrounded the fallout from the campaign with Kerr admitting she would “do things differently” after players were reduced to tears at a meeting the day after they were knocked out.

The Scots’ hopes of a place at Euro 2022 were dashed following a defeat by Finland at Easter Road earlier this month.

Kerr’s contract was set to end after the Euro qualifying campaign, but her decision to step down follows talks with Maxwell in which it “was agreed by both parties that the timing was right to allow a new head coach to begin preparations for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 qualifying campaign”.

The outgoing head coach said she was “deeply disappointed” to miss out on qualification for Euro 2022, adding: “There were huge expectations surrounding the whole team, based on our recent successes, but I couldn’t be prouder than to have led the team – as well as the team behind the team – to the Women’s World Cup.

“I thank the Scottish FA and all who supported me in fulfilling my dream of leading our country to the World Cup finals for the first time. I am privileged to have played a part in such an historical moment in Scottish football. That is something that will live with me forever.

‘The time is right for a new head coach’

“I have lived and breathed the sport for as long as I can remember, so I know in my heart that the time is right for a new head coach to take the team forward to the next campaign.

“I dedicated almost four years to the role as national coach. Having spent my life in football and worked at every level of the pathway, it has been the pinnacle to date to get the opportunity to work with such a fantastic squad of players.

“At the start, we set out to inspire the nation by implementing a style of football that was both exciting and entertaining – and I believe we achieved that.”

SFA chief executive Ian Maxwell
SFA chief executive Ian Maxwell praised Kerr’s impact on the women’s game

Maxwell thanked Kerr for her “contribution in leading the team to historic success in qualifying for the Women’s World Cup, and for the dedication and commitment to advancing the women’s game at all levels”.

The SFA chief executive added: “She has been a proud ambassador of women’s football throughout her career: as a former internationalist with 59 caps, as the first woman to manage in the senior men’s game in Scotland with Stirling University, and of course her achievements as SWNT head coach.

“This Euro qualifying campaign ended sooner than we anticipated and we both felt it was the right time for the national team to regroup in time for the World Cup qualifiers, and for Shelley to fulfil her career ambitions with a fresh challenge.

“She will remain an advocate for the women’s game in Scotland and we wish her the best for the future.”

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