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Wednesday, 25 July, 2001, 09:46 GMT 10:46 UK
Marley calls time on England
Mo Marley to concentrate on her coaching career
Mo Marley to concentrate on her coaching career
By BBC Sport Online's Tony Leighton

The England women's team has been pushed further into its rapidly evolving transitional period by the retirement from international football of 34-year-old captain Mo Marley.

The Everton central defender Marley has decided to call it a day in order to concentrate on developing her coaching career while remaining in club football.

The move comes less than three weeks after veteran Arsenal striker Marieanne Spacey ended her England career,

By stepping off the international stage just after leading her country in the European Championships finals, Marley has left in place a back four whose average age will be only 20 when England begin their World Cup qualifying campaign in September.

Mo has masses to offer on the coaching side
  Hope Powell, England coach

National coach Hope Powell has nevertheless endorsed the decision of a player she holds in high regard and whose services she will retain on the England coaching staff.

Powell said: "As a player Mo has been a tremendous asset to the England team and a great ambassador for the women's game.

"But she feels that she reached the peak of her playing career at the European Championships, and I respect and support her decision to retire at this time.

"She still has masses to offer on the coaching side, though.

"She has already been involved in coaching the junior England sides and I look forward to working with her as she develops this side of her football career."

Powell looks forward to working with Marley
Powell looks forward to working with Marley

Marley, who holds a Uefa 'B' coach's licence, is already heavily involved in coaching as the Merseyside Women's and Girls Football Development Officer.

She will continue to hold this post and the Everton captaincy while pursuing the highest coaching qualifications as part of Powell's England set-up.

She said: "Coaching is my future and I feel it's time to give it my full commitment after a thoroughly enjoyable international playing career.

"I feel I'm the luckiest person alive to have played for England, because I was 28 when I was given my first chance and now I'm retiring with 41 caps to my name.

"It was in my mind during the European Championships to step down, but I decided to reflect on it with my family and now I've made my decision.

"I've fulfilled all my hopes and ambitions as a player and if I can do the same as a coach, I'll eventually retire from football a very happy woman."

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02 Jul 01 |  Womens Euro 2001
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