London: Casey Stoney will be the head coach of Manchester United's new professional women's team, the English football giants announced on Friday.
United have come under fire for not running a senior women's side, in marked contrast to Premier League rivals such as Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool.
But by appointing Casey, who won 130 caps for the England women's team and 12 major trophies during a playing career that only ended with her retirement earlier this year, the Old Trafford club hope to show they are serious about their commitment to women's football.
"I am delighted to have joined Manchester United. This is the biggest club in the world," Stoney, 36, told United's website.
Stoney, who also represented Great Britain at the 2012 London Olympic Games, added: "The fact that we are going to have a women's team and I'm going to be able to introduce that from scratch, to build a team, build a philosophy, with the biggest club in the world, means that, for me, there is no more exciting opportunity.
"My ultimate aim is to grow this team so that every little girl growing up dreams of playing for Manchester United when she's older, because they're the most successful team in women's football."
United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward said Stoney shared the Old Trafford club's longstanding commitment to youth development, which would now apply just as much to their new women's team as it did to the men's side.
"Her experience and knowledge of the game, both as a coach and as a player, made her a stand-out candidate for the role," Woodward said.
"During her successful playing career, spanning over 18 years, she earned over 100 caps for England and is a proven leader as a coach and having captained many of the sides she has played for, she brings a positive and winning mentality which will be a huge benefit to the team."
He added: "Casey will build on the success of the girls' regional talent club and shares our philosophy of creating a pathway from academy to first team.
"I'd like to take this opportunity to welcome her to Manchester United."
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Updated Date: Jun 08, 2018 20:16:57 IST