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Page last updated at 07:19 GMT, Thursday, 4 June 2009 08:19 UK

Powell may leave England position

By Tony Leighton

Hope Powell
Powell will lead England at the European Championships in August

England women's team boss Hope Powell has revealed she may quit her post by the end of the year.

The 43-year-old, appointed to the role in June 1998, wants to take on the Football Association's newly created role of women's performance manager.

That would put the former England midfielder in overall charge of the women's elite performance unit.

She said: "I'm not saying I should automatically get the job but I have the qualifications and the skills."

Whoever is appointed would oversee all the England women's teams, the FA talent development structure, players' central contracts and would liaise with and support the planned - but currently deferred - summer league.

And Powell believes the remit is similar to the one she has followed for the last 11 years as England coach. "It's what I've been doing anyway," she stated as she confirmed her interest in the position.

If successful, then the European Championship finals, being held in Finland in August and September, would be the last tournament at which Powell would manage the England team but she has no qualms about giving up her current role.

She added: "I think that after the Euros the FA will have a good look at it. That's okay. I'm not precious.

"It's still very enjoyable but I've done it a long time and I'd like to be involved from a different angle.

We need to look at future Olympics, and I hope that consideration will be given to continuing with a GB football team

England coach Hope Powell

"The England team and structure, I think we've got everything in place and it can almost drive itself, but I would love to spend more time in the parts of the game that need help - and I think I can help develop the game across the board."

Powell has already led the development of what is now a high-achieving national set-up compared to the one she took over - a senior team on the wane and an embryonic youth system with only an under-18 side in place.

Under her stewardship the senior team has climbed to 10th in the world rankings, teams at under-23, under-21, under-19 and under-17 levels have been established and both World Cups and European Championships are consistently reached by senior and youth sides.

Now, although she will probably not be in charge, her team has the chance to compete in the Olympic Games following Fifa's approval of the proposal that an all-England team can represent Great Britain at London 2012.

"It will be a great opportunity to further develop our game on a world stage and to raise its profile in a great tournament on home soil," she said.

"But I think we also need to look at future Olympics and I hope that consideration will be given to continuing with a GB football team."

As well as welcoming the Olympics news, Powell is delighted, after much prompting from herself, that central contracts have now been established for England players, with the FA committing £1.28m to the scheme over the next four years.

606: DEBATE
BBC Sport's Peter Scrivener

The players being awarded the contracts, 17 at present but with a further three to be added, will each be paid £16,000 per year.

It is a meagre salary compared to the money on offer in the men's game, but Powell insists that comparisons are pointless. "We can look at it like that until we're blue in the face," she said. "We know we can have all those arguments but it's not going to change anything. "The way we have to look at it is, it's £16,000 more than we've ever had. Of course we want more, we want everybody to get more of everything but I don't control the purse strings at the FA."

If she is pleased to have got central contracts in place, Powell is extremely disappointed that the summer league - aimed at further developing the country's elite players and set to kick off next year - has been deferred to 2011 and with no cast iron FA guarantee that the eight-team league will in fact meet its new start date.

"It came as a shock," she conceded after recalling when she first heard about the deferral. "It was a big blow but it is what it is. We just have to move forward, try to be positive and hope for 2011 and work towards those timescales."

The most vital timescale Powell is currently working towards is Euro 2009 and her probable swansong as the national coach.



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see also
England Women awarded contracts
14 May 09 |  Women
England Women 3-0 Norway Women
23 Apr 09 |  Women
England 3-0 Scotland
10 Mar 09 |  Women
England 2-2 France
07 Mar 09 |  Women
England 6-0 South Africa
06 Mar 09 |  Women
Draw sees England reach Euro 2009
02 Oct 08 |  Women


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