Gemma Grainger steps down as manager of Cymru national team

During her time as manager, a record attendance for a women’s international match was achieved. Credit: PA Images

Gemma Grainger has stepped down as manager of the Cymru national team to take charge of the Norwegian national side.

In a statement, the 41-year-old said it had been an "honour" to work with both players and staff to "represent a nation that has supported the team with incredible pride and passion."

“Over the last three years I have given my heart and soul to our journey, and I will be forever grateful to have had the opportunity to work with this team and proud nation," she continued.

“I had no intention to leave Cymru, but I have been offered an unexpected opportunity that I could not turn down and it has been extremely difficult for me to get to this point. I hope you know the decision to leave has not been taken lightly.

Grainger has been Cymru manager for nearly three years. Credit: PA Images

“I truly believe this team is ready to take the next steps and qualify. I’m confident the team can continue to build and grow from this point forward.

“Cymru will forever have a place in my heart, diolch am bopeth.”

Grainger was appointed Cymru manager in March 2021, spending nearly three years in the role, and guided the team to the brink of qualification for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, missing out to a last-minute defeat in the play-off final against Switzerland.

During this time, a record attendance for a women’s international match was also achieved when 15,200 fans attended Cardiff City Stadium to watch Cymru beat Bosnia and Herzegovina in the semi-final of the World Cup play-offs.

Grainger’s final match in charge of the National Team was a 0-0 draw in the UEFA Women’s Nations League against Germany at Stadium in December.

Noel Mooney, FAW Chief Executive, said: “I would like to place on record our sincere gratitude for what Gemma has achieved during her time as Cymru National Team Manager.

"She worked incredibly hard with all of us at the FAW to provide the best possible environment for the Women’s National Team to be successful.  

“We are really happy that we have progressed well under Gemma and now, we enter a period of recruitment for a new manager that will give us the best opportunity to qualify for UEFA EURO 2025 and the 2027 FIFA World Cup.”

FAW President, Steve Williams commented: “I’d like to thank Gemma for her hard work during her tenure as manager. Having continued to raise the standards within the National Team set-up, I believe her eventual successor will have the tools to continue pushing this team to new heights.”

Dave Adams, Chief Football Officer, said: “I’ve really enjoyed working with Gemma over the past three years and would like to thank her for her achievements in the role and pushing the boundaries that allow us to look ahead with positivity. As we move forward, we will continue to focus on the squad and our strategic goal of qualifying for EURO 2025.”

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