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Dublin: 18 °C Wednesday 5 August, 2020

World Cup-winning women's coach tempted by men's role

Jill Ellis is preparing for her final game with the United States.

Jill Ellis (file pic).
Jill Ellis (file pic).
Image: Ricky Fitchett

TWO-TIME WOMEN’S World Cup-winning coach Jill Ellis said Sunday she would be tempted to take over a men’s team as she prepares for her final game with the United States.

Ellis will say farewell to the United States national team on October 6 after a match against South Korea.

“I love challenges, every time in my career I’ve taken the road less travelled,” Ellis said on the sidelines of a Fifa conference on women’s football in Milan on Sunday.

The 53-year-old said she was looking for a new “challenge… One that’s going to motivate me”, after five years at the helm of the United States.

“At this point you don’t rule out anything, in the men’s game there’s obviously a lot of differences.

“The financial part is much greater I imagine at most levels, but the game is the game.

“Corinne Diacre from France coached a men’s team, there are others who have coached professional men’s teams.

“We have female coaches in the States in NBA basketball. It’s about ability and proficiency and not gender.”

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Ellis has been shortlisted for the women’s coaching award at FIFA’s The Best ceremony in Milan on Monday along with England’s Phil Neville and Dutch coach Sarina Wiegman.

“Those awards are about the team,” insisted the English-born coach.

“It would be a fantastic honour to happen, but it’s more reflective of the people I work with.”

Her final game will be emotional, she conceded, but she leaves with “a feeling of satisfaction at having done a good job”.

“I feel good at where I’m at and excited to see what’s next,” she added.

- © AFP, 2019

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