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05th Jul 2023

Forest Green become first English men’s professional side to appoint female boss

Callum Boyle

Forest Green

Hannah Dingley will take charge of the League Two side

Forest Green Rovers have made history by becoming the first professional men’s side in the English pyramid to appoint a woman as their manager.

Hannah Dingley was confirmed as the club’s new caretaker manager on Tuesday after Duncan Ferguson was sacked from his role six months into a five-year deal.

Dingley will take charge of the first team’s pre-season friendly against Melksham Town on Wednesday as the club prepare for their upcoming League Two campaign.

After being announced, the 39-year-old said: “I’m really excited for this next step of my career. Pre-season has just begun, and the full season kicks off very soon.

“It’s an exciting time in football. I am grateful for the opportunity to step up and lead such a progressive and forward-thinking club.”

Club chairman Dale Vince added: “Hannah was the natural choice for us to be first team interim head coach – she’s done a fantastic job leading our academy and is well aligned with the values of the club.

“It’s perhaps telling for the men’s game that in making this appointment on merit, we’ll break new ground – and Hannah will be the first female head coach in English [men’s] football.”

The 39-year-old joined Forest Green in 2019, taking charge of the academy side and remains the only woman to manage a men’s English Football League academy.

Additionally, Dingley also has a Uefa Pro Licence and before joining Forest Green, had a spell working at Burton Albion.

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