Forest Green Rovers: Hannah Dingley becomes the first woman to lead a men's football team

Hannah Dingley is named caretaker head coach of Forest Green Rovers. Credit: PA

Hannah Dingley has become the first woman to manage a men's professional football team.

Forest Green Rovers announced Dingley will take on the role as caretaker head coach of the EFL League Two team with immediate effect.

A caretaker head coach temporarily takes charge of the club until they or someone else permanently takes on the role.

She joined the Gloucestershire club as a coach four years ago and remains the only woman in charge of a men's English Football League Academy.

During her tenure , she has also launched a girl's academy in 2021, which develops female players - mirroring the men's setup.

Caretaker Head Coach Dingley, originally from Carmarthenshire, said: "I’m really excited for this next step of my career. 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 and forward-thinking club.”

Forest Green Rovers Chairman Dale Vince, said: “Hannah was the natural choice for us to be first team interim Head Coach - she’s done a fantastic job leading our Academy and is well aligned with the values of the club.

"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."

It comes after former head coach Duncan Ferguson left Forest Green Rovers just months after taking over - and on the eve of their first preseason friendly.

The former Premier League player and Scotland International striker took over from Ian Burchnall on 26 January this year - and had signed a five year contract.

The 51-year-old was unable to prevent the Nailsworth-based club from being relegated back to League Two.

Forest Green Rovers are recognised by FIFA as the world's greenest football team, it's also the first vegan club.

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