In a landmark move Forest Green Rovers of the English League Two, have become England’s first professional men’s football team to put a woman in charge, with the appointment of Hannah Dingley as their caretaker manager.
Rovers who were relegated from League One at the end of last season, sacked previous manager, former Scotland international Duncan Ferguson, who had been in charge for just six months.
Dingley who had been operating as the club’s head of academy holds a UEFA Pro Licence was the natural choice because of her appreciation of the club’s values, according to owner Dale Vince. He added: “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 official statement released by the club read: “Forest Green Rovers – recognised by FIFA and the United Nations as the world’s greenest football club – has today confirmed the appointment of Hannah Dingley as Caretaker Head Coach.”
The 39-year-old Dingley said: “I’m really excited. 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 club.”
Since taking over the club Vince has turned them into probably the most socially forward-thinking in the professional game with them being officially recognised as the world’s first vegan football club, and receiving the Vegan Trademark from the Vegan Society.