Hannah Dingley Makes History as First Female Manager of a Men’s Professional Team

In a groundbreaking moment for English football, Hannah Dingley has etched her name in the annals of history by being appointed as the boss of Forest Green Rovers, becoming the first woman to manage a men’s professional team.

Dingley, previously serving as the head of the club’s academy, has taken the helm as caretaker manager following the dismissal of Duncan Ferguson after a brief six-month tenure in charge of the League Two side.

Eager to embrace this new chapter in her career, the 39-year-old expressed her excitement for the forthcoming season and her gratitude for the opportunity to lead a progressive and forward-thinking club.

With pre-season preparations underway and the full season on the horizon, Dingley emphasized the significance of the moment, stating, “It’s an exciting time in football. I am grateful for the opportunity to step up and lead such a progressive and forward-thinking club.”

Forest Green Rovers chairman, Dale Vince, highlighted Dingley’s exceptional work with the academy and deemed her the natural choice for the interim head coach position.

Vince’s decision to appoint Dingley was driven by her merit and the shared values between the coach and the club. In making this historic appointment, Forest Green Rovers aim to break new ground and pave the way for more female head coaches in English men’s football.

Ferguson’s stint at Forest Green Rovers was marred by disappointing results, with just one victory during his time in charge, ultimately resulting in the club’s relegation from League One last season. Now, it is Dingley’s turn to take the reins and lead the team into the upcoming campaign.

Her first test will be overseeing preparations for a pre-season friendly against Melksham Town, where she will be in the dugout on Wednesday. As Forest Green Rovers look to the future, Dingley’s appointment marks a groundbreaking move that could potentially see her take charge on a permanent basis.

In the lead-up to the new season, Forest Green Rovers have a series of pre-season friendlies lined up, including matches against Coventry, Everton’s Under-21s, and Plymouth. The team’s inaugural League Two fixture is scheduled against Salford on August 5 at the New Lawn.

As Dingley embarks on her historic journey, she aims to guide Forest Green Rovers to success and prove that gender is no barrier when it comes to managing a professional men’s team.

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