Manchester United have appointed Marc Skinner as women’s team manager following the resignation of former boss Casey Stoney at the end of the WSL season in May.
Skinner, who left his job at NWSL club Orlando Pride to take over at United, has signed a two-year contract until the end of the 2022/23 campaign, with the option of a further year.
The 38-year-old previously enjoyed a successful spell in charge of Birmingham, overseeing a run that resulted in the Blues eventually finishing fourth in the WSL in 2018/19, and will be expected to pick up where Stoney left off now that the 2021/22 is only just around the corner.
“I am excited and proud to become head coach at Manchester United. I’m looking forward to working closely with the staff and this talented group of players,” Skinner told ManUtd.com.
“Our focus is to build on everything they have already achieved in the women’s game. It’s an exciting opportunity to lead the team into what will be another competitive WSL season; I want us to achieve success together and our aim is to give the fans a team they can continue to be proud of.”
United finished fourth in the WSL last season, narrowly missing out on a place in the Women’s Champions League after a run of disappointing form in the second half of the campaign. Getting into Europe remains the aim, but competition will be tough with Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal still the favourites to finish in the top three and Everton also considerably improving.
Without a manager and concerns from the existing squad about the direction of the club, United had a slow start to the summer transfer window. However, recruitment has picked up considerably this month and five new signings have so far arrived to bolster the squad inherited by Skinner.
Norway international Vilde Boe Risa was the first through the door, with Hannah Blundell, Sophie Baggaley and Aoife Mannion all adding considerable WSL experience. Ex-West Ham striker Martha Thomas became the fifth new arrival earlier this week.