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Forest Green Rovers appoint Hannah Dingley as Academy Manager in English men's football first

Hannah Dingley will be the first time woman to run an academy in English men's football. Credit: Forest Green Rovers

Forest Green Rovers football club has appointed Hannah Dingley as its new Academy Manager.

The announcement marks the first time a woman has run an academy in English men's football.

Alongside the appointment, Forest Green Rovers (FGR) has also revealed plans to launch a new women's academy.

New Lawn in Nailsworth, Gloucestershire - the home of Forest Green Rovers. Credit: PA

After working with Burton Albion since 2013, Dingley is tasked with building momentum in FGR's category three academy as well as developing fresh first-team talent.

Dingley leaves her position as Head of Academy Coaching at Burton Albion which she's held since 2016.

Commenting on her appointment, she said:

"I'm really excited to get started - it's the perfect blank canvas".

We have a first team manager who really wants young players in his squad and plays the game with a distinctive style. We have some great talent in the academy and my focus will be on doing everything we can do give them the best chance at first team football.

I was aware of FGR before I came to meet the chairman, but it was the fact their stadium is on a road called ‘Another Way’ that got me thinking. Football typically does the same thing repeatedly and waits for results to change without making changes.

– Hannah Dingley, FGR Academy Manager

She added: "It feels like I’ve got a chance to innovate here and do things differently".

Dingley has been described as having a 'fearless approach' in her coaching. Credit: Forest Green Rovers

Forest Green Rover Chairman, Dale Vince, welcomed the appointment - saying Dingley is "a good cultural fit" for the club.

"Hannah is a great addition to the team at FGR, she has the experience, passion and skill to really drive our academy onward, giving our young players their best shot at first-team football".

He added both the club and Dingley share "an interest in innovation" and "breaking the mould".

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