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  • Writer's pictureBy Paul Lagan

Lionesses have new U23 coach in Emma Coates

Emma Coates Picture: The FA
Emma Coates Picture: The FA

By Paul Lagan

Emma Coates has been appointed head coach of England Women’s U23s.

Coates has been working in the England coaching structure at St. George’s Park, and is

guiding the WU19s in their qualifying campaign for this summer’s UEFA EURO. She will begin her

new role for the 2023/24 season.

Coates said: “It is a really proud moment to become head coach of the WU23s.

“It is always a privilege to work in the pathway with England teams. This new role is particularly

exciting with how closely it is aligned to the seniors. You can see the flurry of promising players that

have come through recently and how Sarina is committed to giving them an opportunity if they are


“We have some incredible talent in our system. As a coach I am driven by player development and

committed to helping individuals to improve, which goes hand in hand with learning how to win

football matches as a team. I see this role as an opportunity for me to bring together all of my

experiences from Leeds, Doncaster and England to help maintain that flow of players who transition

through to the seniors, making the most of their talent as football players and helping them grow as

people off the pitch too.”

Mo Marley had been leading the WU23s while a full-time appointment was sought but will now

return to providing mentoring to national coaches. Marley had originally chosen to step back from

full-time coaching in October 2020.

Having begun her coaching career with Leeds United, Coates went on to Doncaster Rovers Belles –

becoming head coach in June 2016 before joining The FA as a national-team coach just over a year


Fresh from a 3-0 win against Switzerland for the WU19s last week, Coates will lead that age group in

April when they take on mini-tournament hosts Spain, Slovenia and Belarus for a place in the EURO

finals in Belgium this July. Recruitment for the coach to lead the WU19s from next season will begin

in due course.

The WU23s returned as an age-group team in October 2021 – a month after Wiegman began her

work with the seniors – and started the new era with a 1-0 win in Belgium. Five of that squad –

including match-winner Katie Robinson - featured in the Arnold Clark Cup-winning senior squad last



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