GB Women's Football Head Coach - Hege Riise. Image provided by The Football Association.

England coach Riise named GB Women’s Football head coach

England coach Hege Riise will lead the GB Women’s Football Team at this summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, The Football Association have announced.

FA Women’s Super League Full-Time learnt of the news via an official press release from The Football Association this morning.

It has been reported that Riise will be assisted by Rhian Wilkinson, her assistant coach on the England National Team. A further coach will join Team GB to work with Riise and Wilkinson in due course.

The 51-year-old Norwegian coach is a former Olympic gold medalist with Riise having been a member of her nation’s tournament-winning side at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Sydney. Riise is one of just three players who has won an Olympic Games gold, the FIFA Women’s World Cup and the UEFA Women’s EURO during their playing career.

Riise’s international career spanned over the course of 14 years. The former midfielder is the appearance record holder for Norway with 188 senior caps to her name. She scored 58 goals for her country.

As a coach, Riise has coached the Norwegian Under-23 side while she was also an assistant coach for the United States Women’s National Team prior to taking up a role with the English Football Association as interim coach of England in January 2021. Riise will remain in charge of the Lionesses until new head coach Sarina Wiegman takes up the role on a permanent basis in September. Riise took charge of the England team for the first time last month as they defeated Northern Ireland 6-0 in an international friendly at St George’s Park.

Following her appointment as head coach of Team GB, Riise said “I know first-hand as a former player just how huge the Olympics are as a tournament and I am enormously proud to have this opportunity to lead the GB squad into the Games. We will go there to give everything we have to be successful and I hope we can also use the power of the Games to help women’s football continue to grow in popularity.

“I thank The FA for their trust in me, and also the National Lottery for the backing they are giving to the team. This kind of strong support is so important if we are to go there and perform to the best of our abilities.”

Team GB will be one of 12 international teams taking part in the football tournament at the rearranged Tokyo Olympic Games, with matches taking place between 21 July and 6 August. The tournament draw is scheduled to be conducted on on 21 April.

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