Jill Ellis, Mark Sampson and Norio Sasaki are 2015 FIFA World Coach of the Year for Women’s Football finalists

Jill Ellis, Mark Sampson and Norio Sasaki are 2015 FIFA World Coach of the Year for Women’s Football finalists.

Jill Ellis, Mark Sampson and Norio Sasaki were today announced as the final nominees for the 2015 FIFA World Coach of the Year for Women’s Football

Jill Ellis led USA to their third FIFA Women’s World Cup™ title at Canada 2015, marking the pinnacle of her coaching career. Ellis, who has been involved with the U.S. Soccer Federation’s women’s programme in a variety of capacities since 2000, was handed the reins of the senior side after Tom Sermanni’s departure. She had served as interim coach in 2012 for seven matches, but her appointment in 2014 was her first opportunity to lead a senior women’s national team on a full-time, permanent basis. Ellis navigated USA through a very difficult Group D at Canada 2015 with two wins against Australia and Nigeria, along with a scoreless draw against Sweden. After dispatching Colombia in the Round of 16, China PR in the quarter-finals and a resilient German side in the semi-finals, Ellis oversaw the Stars and Stripes’ stunning 5-2 victory over Japan in the Final. (Text / FIFA)

The year 2015 will certainly be one to remember for Mark Sampson, who only turned 33 in October. During the year, the Welshman led England to victory in the Cyprus Cup but most notably to a third-placed finish at the FIFA Women’s World Cup™, his first major tournament in charge. This achievement made all the more remarkable considering that prior to his appointment, England had never won a match beyond the group stage in the tournament. Another notable first was achieved at Canada 2015; the Three Lionesses victory over Germany in the match for third place marked the first time that they had beaten their European rivals in 21 attempts. Their successes in Cyprus and Canada also propelled England to fifth in the FIFA Women’s World Ranking, their highest-ever position since the system was introduced in 2003.(Text / FIFA)

Japan coach Norio Sasaki once again lifted Japan to a major world final, only for the Nadeshiko to fall one game short of their extraordinary achievement of four years ago as USA turned in a performance of rare quality to win the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final. Reaching a third successive global decider – following on from Germany 2011 and the 2012 London Olympics – is a considerable achievement in the increasingly competitive world of international women’s football. Sasaki’s side were perhaps light on star power at Canada 2015 but, to his credit, they are perhaps unsurpassed for team cohesion. Sasaki’s undemonstrative and cultured manner on the sideline is reflected in his team who play with trademark efficiency and poise. (Text / FIFA)

Kate Abdo, 2014 FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year Nadine Kessler and former Dutch international Edgar Davids unveiled the last remaining names of the various prizes at the FIFA Ballon d’Or Gala which will take place on 11 January 2016

Jill Ellis, Mark Sampson and Norio Sasaki were chosen ahead of Calle Barrling (Sweden), Colin Bell (England), Farid Benstiti (France, Laura Harvey (England), John Herdman (England), Gerard Precheur (France) and Thomas Worle (Germany).

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