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Tuesday, February 7, 2023

England legend and ex-Man Utd boss Stoney delivers title verdict

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Stoney, 40, managed Man Utd for three seasons, taking them from the Championship to back-to-back fourth place finishes in the WSL. She now coaches in America with NWSL side San Diego WaveCasey Stoney has taken charge of NWSL side San Diego Wave since leaving Man Utd (Image: Getty Images / 2022 Jenny Chuang/ISI Photos) Casey Stoney believes former club Manchester United are very much involved in a WSL title race that will “go to the wire.” The former United manager and England captain added that she feels like a “proud mum” when watching her former team, who this season are threatening the established elite of Chelsea and Arsenal in England’s top flight. Stoney, now managing in America with the San Diego Wave, was United’s first coach in 2018 and led them into the top flight after one season. She left Leigh Sports Village in the summer of 2021, but United have since continued to progress under current boss Marc Skinner. This season they have only lost once so far in the WSL, taking four points from three games against fellow title contenders Chelsea, Arsenal and Man City. Hopes are now high that if they maintain their strong start in the second half of the campaign, United will not only fight for the title but, as a minimum, break into the top three for the first time in their history. And Stoney believes that, whatever happens, the race for the league won’t be settled until the very end of the season. “I think their [Manchester United’s] squad depth is the best it’s ever been,” Stoney told Sky Sports. “I’m really proud of where they are at. The bulk of players there are still the bulk that signed and played under me. “When I’m watching United, I feel like a proud mum because I know the players so well. I’ve hopefully had an imprint on what they’re doing now. Stoney was manager at Manchester United from 2018-2021. “I’m really proud of how the club has taken it [the women’s team] on. But I’m also proud of the WSL and how it is growing. It is attracting some of the best players in the world. “There is so many big games now within the league and I think whatever happens, this title race will go right down to the wire.” Stoney, who also captained Team GB, is now a mum of three and also touched on how her children will benefit from the legacy created by the Lionesses winning Euro 2022 last summer. The 40-year-old, who played 130 times for her country and is fifth on the all-time most capped players list, said the achievement of the current England crop has transformed the game for future generations. “Now I’m a mum that means even more,” Stoney added. “It meant so much to me as a player, to leave the shirt in a better place. But as a mum it means more. “What those girls did in the summer changed the game forever. They changed the game for my little girls and my little boy. My boy is now in the garden shouting ‘Russo’ when he backheels it into the goal – that changes the conversation. “It also changes the sponsors’ thinking about putting more money into the game, the clubs’ attitudes towards the women’s team. I’m just so proud that maybe I had a tiny footprint on the way. Alessia Russo and Ella Toone are helping United towards a WSL title push this season “The current generation has changed the game forever, you look at the audiences, the fanbase, the money coming into the game now. It is a world away from when I was little and was told I shouldn’t be playing, because I’m a girl.” NEW! Our Year: European Champions 2022 – The Official England Winners Book With a foreword by England manager Sarina Wiegman, this is the only official book of the historic triumph, reliving every kick of a thrilling tournament and telling the stories of the players who made it all happen. Order from https://reachsportshop.com/book/our-year-european-champion-2022/

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