Hege Riise to be named Team GB head coach after impressing with England Women

Tom Garry
·2-min read

Norway great Hege Riise is poised to be named as the head coach of Team GB’s women’s football side for this summer’s Olympics, Telegraph Sport understands.

An announcement is expected later this week to confirm the 51-year-old’s appointment. Riise, who won the World Cup as a player with Norway in 1995, has been in interim charge of England since January, having initially been appointed as assistant coach to Phil Neville, before Neville’s early exit to take charge of Inter Miami.

The Norwegian coach oversaw a convincing 6-0 win over Northern Ireland in a friendly at St George’s Park in February, in her first game in charge. She will also oversee England's friendly against Canada in April, before the first Team GB camp in June.

One of her biggest tasks will be to select a squad of only 18 players from the UK for Tokyo, where the British side will be hoping for at least a medal.

The Football Association and England’s players are understood to have been hugely impressed with Riise during February’s training camp.

Senior members of the playing squad are believed to have been consulted over the decision and sources have spoken highly of the positivity around the camp.

England played with a fast-faced, attacking style as they eased past Northern Ireland, who are enjoying their best ever qualifying campaign for a major tournament and will face Ukraine in a Euro 2022 play-off in April.

Team GB qualified for the Olympics by virtue of England’s run to the semi-finals of the 2019 World Cup, where they finished among the top three European nations. That saw England qualify on Team GB’s behalf and therefore the English FA were primarily responsible for selecting the head coach.

Riise was a world, European and Olympic champion with Norway as they enjoyed a spell of dominance in global women’s football in the 1990s and early 2000s, and she was named Player of the Tournament at the 1995 World Cup.

Netherlands coach Sarina Wiegman was announced as the next England manager last August. She will assume her new role from September, after leading Netherlands at the Olympics, where she may face Riise’s Team GB.