The England Lionesses have appointed the former Norwegian midfielder Hege Riise as a short-term head coach following the sudden departure of Phil Neville to Inter Miami in the MLS.
Riise will step into the role from February of this month to lead the upcoming training camp supported by ex-Canadian international Rhian Wilkinson.
During her distinguished playing career, Riise was an Olympic, World Cup and European Championship winner and scored 58 goals in 188 internationals.
The 1995 world player of the year has since gone on to have an impressive coaching career too, having managed to steer Norwegian side LSK Kvinner to six consecutive league titles. She has also previously been the assistant coach to the all-conquering USA Women’s side, which won Olympic Gold in 2012.
Speaking about her Lionesses appointment, Riise said:
“I’m excited about the opportunity I’ve been given to work with England Women. This is a proud and ambitious team that I look forward to working with and I am confident of making a positive impact when I meet up with the squad in February.”
The Director of England Women’s football Sue Campbell, meanwhile, added:
“I am delighted to welcome Hege Riise and Rhian Wilkinson to the England coaching team, having had positive discussions with them in recent weeks.
“They bring significant international experience and will help guide our players before the arrival of Sarina Wiegman as our new head coach to lead us into the home EURO in 2022. Once February is complete, we will sit down and assess the Lionesses situation and consider next steps for Team GB in consultation with the home nations and the British Olympic Association.”
Riise could be in the frame to take on the Team GB job too as that role has also been vacated following Neville’s departure, but it is understood that her primary focus will be working with England.
This appointment will also have no affect on the incoming Dutch coach Weigman, who is due to take the helm of the Lionesses from September 2021