Alumna Hannah Dingley named first female manager of men’s professional football team

Hannah Dingley at Forest Green Rovers Stadium

Image: Forest Green Rovers

Hannah Dingley has been named the new Caretaker Head Coach of Forest Green Rovers. She becomes the first woman to manage a professional men’s football team in England.

She joined the club four years ago when she became Academy Manager and remains the only woman to be in charge of a men’s English Football League Academy.

Hannah will take up the role of Caretaker Head Coach with immediate effect. Her first game comes a day after the public announcement of her appointment.

In her time with the club, Hannah has not only managed the men’s Academy, but she has also initiated the launch of the clubs’ Girls Academy, set up to develop female players.

Forest Green Rovers is recognised as the world’s greenest football club by football’s world governing body, FIFA, and the United Nations. They became the world's first vegan football club in 2015, with their stadium made almost entirely of wood.

Speaking about her new role, Hannah said:

“I’m really excited for this next step of my career. Pre-season has just begun and the full season kicks off very soon. It’s an exciting time in football. I am grateful for the opportunity to step up and to lead such a progressive and forward-thinking club.”

Forest Green Rovers Chairman, Dale Vince, said of the appointment:

“Hannah was the natural choice to be first-team interim Head Coach - she’s done a fantastic job leading our Academy and is well aligned with the values of the club.

“It’s perhaps telling for the men’s game that in making this appointment on merit, we’ll break new ground - and Hannah will be the first female Head Coach in English (men’s) football.”

Hannah graduated from Loughborough in 2004 with a BSc in Sport and Exercise Science, before completing an MSc in Coaching in 2008.

Many congratulations to Hannah on her appointment.