Shelley Kerr has stood down from her role as Scottish Women’s National Team head coach following the side’s failure to qualify for the Euros in 2022.
Defeat against Finland earlier this month ended the SWNT’s chances of reaching the tournament and Kerr, who led the side to an historic first World Cup in France last summer, as well as the Scottish FA, have mutually agreed now is the time to step aside.
Kerr, who missed the meeting with the Finns and the earlier loss in Portugal due to Covid-19 contact tracing requirements, said: “Naturally, I am deeply disappointed that we failed to qualify in our recent UEFA Euro qualifying campaign. There were huge expectations surrounding the whole team, based on our recent successes, but I couldn’t be prouder than to have led the team – as well as the team behind the team – to the Women’s World Cup.
“I thank the Scottish FA and all who supported me in fulfilling my dream of leading our country to the World Cup finals for the first time. I am privileged to have played a part in such an historical moment in Scottish football. That is something that will live with me forever.
“I have lived and breathed the sport for as long as I can remember, so I know in my heart that the time is right for a new head coach to take the team forward to the next campaign. I dedicated almost four years to the role as national coach.
“Having spent my life in football and worked at every level of the pathway, it has been the pinnacle to date to get the opportunity to work with such a fantastic squad of players.
“At the start, we set out to inspire the nation by implementing a style of football that was both exciting and entertaining – and I believe we achieved that.
“I would like to thank the players and support staff who have given their time, expertise and professionalism in the overarching quest to play on a European and world stage.
“It’s a huge testament to the squad of 40 players who have been instrumental in raising the profile of girls’ and women’s football in Scotland. I know they will continue to inspire the next generation.
“There are many variables in top-level sport and despite many challenges, the team has progressed, developed and proved they can compete on the game’s biggest stage. I wish them every success and will continue to cheer as a proud, passionate Scottish supporter.
“I know the timing is right for me to look ahead to the next chapter, to face new challenges and to create and enjoy more amazing experiences on my journey.”
Former international Kerr took the job after the departure of Anna Signeul, now coaching Finland, in 2017.
Scottish FA chief executive Ian Maxwell said:
Ian Maxwell, SFA chief executive, said: “Shelley’s impact on the Scotland Women’s National Team cannot be underestimated. We are thankful for her contribution in leading the team to historic success in qualifying for the Women’s World Cup, and for the dedication and commitment to advancing the women’s game at all levels.
“She has been a proud ambassador of women’s football throughout her career: as a former internationalist with 59 caps, as the first woman to manage in the senior men’s game in Scotland with Stirling University, and of course her achievements as SWNT head coach.
“This UEFA Euro qualifying campaign ended sooner than we anticipated and we both felt it was the right time for the national team to regroup in time for the World Cup qualifiers, and for Shelley to fulfil her career ambitions with a fresh challenge. She will remain an advocate for the women’s game in Scotland and we wish her the best for the future.”