Manchester United Women manager Manager Casey Stoney watches from the touchline Manchester United Women v Lewes Women, Women's Championship football match, Leigh Sports Village, Leigh, UK - 11 May 2019 Photo: Jon Super for The FA

Manchester United announce that head coach Stoney will step down

Manchester United have this afternoon announced that head coach Casey Stoney will step down from her position at the end of the season.

The 38-year-old has been in charge at The Leigh Sports Village since the club’s reformation as a senior team in summer 2018 and she helped The Red Devils lift the FA Women’s Championship title at the end of their maiden season.

Manchester United finished their first full Barclays FA Women’s Super League season in fourth place, just a point behind Arsenal who claimed the final UEFA Women’s Champions League qualification spot. The focus for next season is to break into the top three, however, it has been revealed that Stoney will not be the person to lead the club to a first European qualification.

Manchester United released a statement on their official website earlier this afternoon confirming that Stoney will step down after Sunday’s Vitality Women’s FA Cup fifth round tie against Leicester City at The Leigh Sports Village. The Manchester United boss has made the decision to step away from the club following a difficult period caused by the challenges brought by the Coronavirus world pandemic.

Speaking to the club’s official media sources, Stoney said “It has been an honour to lead the women’s team at this great club and this has been an incredibly tough decision. Having come on board to start the team from scratch, then winning the Women’s Championship in our first season, we have now successfully established the team as a force in the Women’s Super League.

“I have loved leading this group and I am proud of what we have achieved together. However, after a difficult season with disruption caused by the pandemic, I now feel the time is right to take some time away and for someone else to come in and lead the team on the next stage of its journey.

“I want to thank the club, all of the fantastic staff, the fans, and most of all the players, for the incredible experience we have shared over the past three years.”

Stoney has taken charge of Manchester United on 76 occasions. She has won 56 of those games while just 18 have ended in defeat.

The club are now expected to begin their recruitment process for their next head coach.

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