Baroness Sue Campbell says that Hege Riise’s Olympic experience was a key factor in the Norwegian landing the head coach role for Team GB for this summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo.
The 51-year-old was unveiled as the head coach of the Team GB women’s football team earlier today. As a player, Riise was a gold medalist with the Norwegian football team at the Summer Olympics, Sydney 2000 while she was an assistant coach for the gold-winning United States team at London 2012.
When speaking in The Football Association’s press conference earlier today in which FAWSL Full-Time were present, Baroness Campbell said that Riise’s Olympic Games experience was a big factor in her appointment.
“All of the research shows us that all of the people that haven’t been to an Olympics before really struggle with their first Olympics and that includes coaches,” said Baroness Campbell.
“It is a unique and very different experience to a World Cup for example, it is essentially 26 different World Cups, different sports happening simultaneously, the village itself is a different environment.
“I think the fact that Hege has been there both as player and a coach will really help her prepare the team the very best that she can.
“That was a reason which led me to ask her whether she would consider doing this.”
Riise was appointed the interim coach of the England team in January following the departure of former boss Phil Neville. The Norwegian took charge of the Lionesses for the first time last month as they defeated Northern Ireland 6-0 in an international friendly at St George’s Park. Baroness Campbell commented that the success of that camp was another factor in Riise’s appointment as Team GB head coach.
She added “It was really important for me to see the February camp and see how Hege and Rhian (Wilkinson) worked with the players.
“For someone coming in with the time that she had, it was both an excellent demonstration of how you come in and set a tone and values, a way of working.
“The evidence was in-front of us, let alone Hege’s amazing record as a coach.”
Team GB will learn of who they will face at Tokyo 2020 on 21 April when the draw for the women’s and men’s tournaments are made. The tournament takes place from 21 July to 6 August.