Marieanne Spacey has had an impressive career with the England national team in multiple capacities. The FA have now announced that the former Arsenal forward will move into a new role within the association.
Spacey will remain integral to the women's football set up in England as she is set to lead a new international player development programme.
About the scheme
The role and the scheme no doubt comes with the FA's push to development of women's football in England. This specifically will involve a selected group of young players to ensure that their development is fully supported - looking at the transition from youth programmes to senior teams.
Spacey's work will begin immediately as the scheme is due to start in September to run alongside the FA WSL season which has undergone a schedule change. Players involved with this programme will receive support across the board with the objective of "building winning England teams."
Continuing contribution to Lionesses
From donning her country's badge 91 times, to assisting Mark Sampson and the 2015 bronze winning team in the FIFA Women's World Cup, Spacey has already given a lot to the Lionesses.
This new role will further the former player's contribution to the national team from another angle and Spacey feels that this project could really make a difference, "There are many talented players in our pathway but we know that with the extra support in key areas on and off the pitch, their talent could truly be realised."
“It’s personally exciting to be leading such an innovative programme that will really drive forward the development of the elite women’s game and hopefully help us meet our goal of a winning England team in 2023,” Spacey added.
Sampson's loss and gain
While Sampson is losing a member of his coaching staff, he is gaining something new to the England set up. The Welshman told the FA Website that, “We have never been in a position to offer our young players comprehensive, well-resourced and well-supported individual development plans in a bespoke programme."
“With the 2019 World Cup on the horizon there is no better person than Marieanne" Sampson praised his former assistant coach, "with her playing and coaching knowledge and expertise, to identify and develop future England players for international competition," the manager added.
To conclude, Sampson thanked Spacey for her work: “On behalf of all of the staff and players, I would like to thank Marieanne for her hard work, support and friendship over the past three and a half years. When we started working with the team in January 2014, this team was ranked 12th in the world. Now we are fourth and Marieanne has played a key role in that.”