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'It's only going to help': Canada's Bev Priestman hopes to inspire other women to consider coaching

Last Updated Oct 30, 2020 at 7:53 am MDT

CONCACAF Women's Under-20 Championship 17 January 2017 - Couva, TRI Canada Soccer by Mexsport

OTTAWA (660 NEWS) — For the first time in nearly a decade, a female will be at the helm of the country’s women’s soccer team.

After months of searching, Canada Soccer has hired Bev Priestman as the program’s new head coach.

“I’d like to think I got this job because I’m the best candidate, first and foremost, and I think I’m strong on that side of things,” she offered on a recent call with soccer reporters.

“But, I think overall for young, aspiring female coaches or players who are coming out of the game and want to get into coaching, I do think having a female role model in a coaching position in a country like Canada where women’s soccer is massive, I do think that’s important.”

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The last time a woman was at the Canadian helm was in 2011 when Caroline Morace vacated the role after a two-year tenure.

“Hopefully, myself, the team and the staff around the team can help inspire more coaches to have the confidence to get into coaching and pursue their dreams,” Priestman said. “I think it’s a benefit, and I think it’s only going to help the growth of the women’s game.

“You’re going to see it more and more. And actually, some of the more successful countries have been coached by women. That’s a great benefit.”

Priestman’s appointment will mark her second stint with Canada Soccer.

She worked as an assistant under John Herdman when the squad captured bronze at the 2016 Rio Olympics and served as the youth programs’ National EXCEL Director.

“I understand the landscape, I understand the country, and in many ways, I understand the people,” Priestman stated.

Her coaching journey has also seen her make stops in New Zealand, and most recently, England.