“I do get tired of the Hope defense league saying how phenomenal she is and what she has done. She has had magnificent support mechanisms since day one and is in fact entitled to have done at least what she has. I give her full credit for everything she has managed to achieve. But bottom line is how long to we persevere with the same voice”

I write this with some hesitation but because I have seen and heard and read many comments since England’s demise in the Euro finals. Including many people discussing replacements and reasons. My own name has been mentioned along with the likes of Emma Hayes, Laura Harvey, John Herdman and the more obvious Mo Marley

Firstly I wish to state that I would never push myself in any way for this role. Yes it would mean everything to have an honour and opportunity like this but I am realistic and very aware of the politics.

I have been involved in the female game since the early 90s being called crazy at the time as the first A licence male coach. Having worked in the US I started with Charlton Centre of excellence in 1998 and the rapid growth and success story here despite the dominance and pulling power in London of both Arsenal and then the Pro-Fulham years we held our own and at youth levels were as good as anyone.

I did all my qualifications and extras the hard way – no fast tracking and I did my apprenticeships coaching all ages girls and boys amateur to semi-pro and professionals.

I applied for the England role at the same time as Hope who at that time had never coached or managed a team at the higher level and did not have the qualifications. At that time in my opinion and I may be off track but I feel it was a political appointment to cover all bases. I was never even offered an interview.

I do not and cannot blame Hope Powell for this and she was quickly fast tracked through the relevant awards and learned from some excellent teachers.

I carried on in my role at Charlton and built a programme that produced many senior and youth internationals

I did my best to work with Hope and her staff and was always proud when any of the players I had worked with walked out in an England shirt.

It was also during this time that I met my wife to be Pauline Cope and despite some tough times and some great ones she has proven to be my rock. One of the saddest times I remember was when she called Hope to say she was unhappy with the Goalkeeper training at the National team and Hopes methods and was thinking of retiring from that level due to this. The response was not helpful and it was an as of when answer. No offer of discussion as to why. I remember the tears to this day, as no one was more proud to put on that shirt and sing the national anthem than Copey

Yet still we both continued to support the England team and the players who played.

Hope has been given Queen’s honors and accolades, which on the surface maybe deserved but I feel anyone given the support and resources she has over a 15-year tenure, could have done equally as well if not perhaps better.

Either way she commands respect and is recognized by FIFA and UEFA as a leader in the female game. Should she wish it she has a future in the game in some capacity

As for candidates to replace her of the names discussed all came in to the higher levels in the last decade and have had a degree of success but again with the availability of good backing and players on tap. But at least they have done the groundwork and as I called it earlier an apprenticeship

It would seem on hearsay that decisions have already been made, I do feel it needs to be taken seriously and action taken before the World Cup qualifiers begin. Hope should know when it is time and that time is now

Respectfully Keith Boanas.






  1. keithboanas 8 years ago

    No need to say sorry to me Nick , all about getting the right players and need to want to play for the manager as well as all the obvious reasons . Been in it for nearly 18 years and the politics surrounding womens football all around the globe can be mystifying at times . Why do we stick with it ? Simple they can play , with the kids its as much fun to watch as the lads and at the highest level as long as you appreciate the realities it can be as enthralling as the mens game . E G Denmark ..  Its football . 

  2. Nick Hay 8 years ago

    Fascinated to read this article and agree completely. I am a newcomer to Women’s Football – that is to say I have only been seriously following since 2011 and the formation of the WSL. Since then I think it can be said I am serious follower as I have not missed a single Birmingham City Ladies game, home or away, since September 2011, attended all the GB games and have been to several England ones. I was utterly disillusioned (indeed in disbelief) with Hope Powell after my first England game; what instantly struck someone with my background was the contrast between the negativity of her approach and that of the football I was seeing played by all the best teams in the WSL, especially Arsenal, Birmingham, Bristol and now Liverpool. Everything I have seen and heard since has added to that opinion.

    Really what is completely crazy is that the FA sinks a lot of effort into establishing the WSL which has been a massive step forward for the game in England but then there appears to be almost no connection between the WSL and the NT. Whoever is the next manager (and my choice is very definitely Laura Harvey because I have seen her side play wonderful football – sorry Keith) needs to ensure that this link is close and pertinent in terms of players and tactics. 

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