By PA Sport Staff
Casey Stoney is to step down as Manchester United head coach at the end of the season, the club have announced.
The news comes after United finished fourth in the Women’s Super League table for a second successive season.
Stoney had previously guided the team to the Championship title following their launch as a professional outfit in 2018.
ℹ️ Casey Stoney will step down from her role as head coach at the end of the 2020/21 campaign.#MUWomen
— Manchester United Women (@ManUtdWomen) May 12, 2021
Stoney said in a statement on United’s official website: “It has been an honour to lead the women’s team at this great club and this has been an incredibly tough decision.
“Having come on board to start the team from scratch, then winning the Women’s Championship in our first season, we have now successfully established the team as a force in the Women’s Super League. I have loved leading this group and I am proud of what we have achieved together.
“However, after a difficult season with disruption caused by the pandemic, I now feel the time is right to take some time away and for someone else to come in and lead the team on the next stage of its journey.
— Barclays FA Women's Super League (@BarclaysFAWSL) May 9, 2021
“I want to thank the club, all of the fantastic staff, the fans, and most of all the players, for the incredible experience we have shared over the past three years.”
United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward said: “As a club we are intensely proud of our women’s team and we have invested considerable resource to make it a success.
“Casey has been a driving force behind that success since she joined us in 2018. She has been an inspiration to her players and staff, fans, and to all of us. I know I speak for everyone in thanking her for her unstinting hard work and dedication and paying tribute to her achievements.”
John Murtough, United’s football director, said: “Manchester United is completely committed to its women’s team and to building on the legacy of Casey’s achievements as we move forwards.
“With the recent historic first game at Old Trafford and the impact the team has made in the Women’s Super League, the future is bright. While we will be sad to see Casey leave, the team and the operation will continue to go from strength to strength.”
United, whose final game of the season is at home against Leicester in the FA Cup fifth round on Sunday, said they were “in the process of recruiting a new women’s head coach and this will be announced in due course.”