Manchester United Women’s boss Casey Stoney admits she will pick the brains of Old Trafford manager Jose Mourinho when she gets the chance.
Stoney, the former England captain, says she is relishing her new role as head honcho of a United outfit who will be playing in the second tier of the Women’s Super League next season.
It will be their bow in the league as the club’s first women’s team to play professionally in a league. Manchester United’s old training ground The Cliff, is the team’s HQ and they will play their home matches at Leigh Sports Village. “They are going to be investing £1.2million at The Cliff and it’s a building full of history and tradition so to have that as a base is brilliant,” says Stoney.
And if she can get some tips from the Special One she is more than willing to do so. She told the Manchester Evening News: “I’ve not spoken to him yet but I’m sure I will do in the future. I have been at the training ground a lot but the men’s team are having a break, but when he’s back I might be lucky enough to have a chat and pick his brains.
“The reason I took this job is because they told me they don’t do anything unless they can do it properly and already they have fully integrated the team within the club and I have been at a lot of clubs where that hasn’t happened. We want to build this team and put them on a platform where they can be successful.”
Stoney got the nod for the job earlier this month and has already recruited her coaching staff as well as 17 players ahead of the campaign, which kicks off in August.
She says she thought the recruitment process was going to be more difficult because United are not in the top tier, but that the challenge is made easier simply by the name of the club.
Stoney added: “Because It’s Manchester United and because of the plans and the visions of the club and what we can do for the women’s game and the profile of the players it has been a bit easier than expected. Obviously, I know the game, I have been in it a long time. Whereas other clubs might have to go through agents I go straight to the player because they know me.”
The emphasis with recruitment has been to attract experienced players, she says, because “when you are building something you need them, but we have also gone for some really young and exciting players.
She says that she believes the club already as “a good blend and each year we will try and strengthen and make sure we can compete. I have been relentless in trying to recruit the best players and we are going to put them in some uncomfortable positions and really push them to develop.”