Hege Riise to be named Team GB football coach for Tokyo Olympics

Suzanne Wrack
·2 min read
<span>Photograph: Lynne Cameron for the FA/Getty Images</span>
Photograph: Lynne Cameron for the FA/Getty Images

The temporary England manager Hege Riise is to be named as head coach of Team GB this week for the summer Olympics in Tokyo.

Riise, who is Norway’s most-capped player, stepped up from her interim assistant position to take charge of the Lionesses for the international break at the end of February. They went on to beat Northern Ireland 6-0 in their first game in 349 days.

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Straight away there were signs of progress and the plan Riise had proposed – better switches of play, a high press and more direct attack – had been embraced by the players.

“This is the style I like to play: to not be too direct but find the pocket in between and be direct in that way,” the 51-year-old coach said after the win. “We know when we meet the US or France or Germany we won’t be creating as much as we did [against Northern Ireland] so we need to be precise and look for opportunities to run at them.”

Phil Neville had been poised to lead Team GB in Japan but instead announced in January that he would be taking over as manager of Inter Miami.

Riise and the former Canada international Rhian Wilkinson were recruited to England’s coaching staff on short-term contracts after the former assistant coach Rehanne Skinner joined Tottenham in September.

Riise is no stranger to the Olympics, having won gold with Norway in 2000 as a player and was assistant coach of the USA women’s national when they triumphed at London 2012. She also won the 1993 Women’s Euro title and the 1995 World Cup in Sweden, where she won the Golden Ball.

The Dutch manager Sarina Wiegman, who won Euro 2017 and reached the World Cup final in 2019 with the Netherlands, will take charge of England after leading her home nation to a first Olympic Games.