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From a playing career spanning 20 years, to becoming the first head coach of the new Manchester United Women's team in June 2018, Casey Stoney has overseen a sea change in women’s football.
Born in Basildon, Stoney was signed for Chelsea’s women’s team in 1994, aged just 12. Stoney’s talent at club level was immediately noticed and she made her senior debut for the England national team against France in 2000, aged just 18. Stoney became the fifth player to make over 100 appearances for the Lionesses, making a total of 130 appearances by the time of her retirement. A captain for the England women's team, Stoney played an integral part in the Lionesses' rise up the world rankings, with a third-place finish in the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup being one of the highlights. The defender led Team GB to the quarter-finals of the London 2012 Olympic Games, scoring in the second group-stage match against Cameroon and leading her side to a memorable 1-0 victory against Brazil in front of over 72,000 fans at Wembley Stadium. Stoney received an MBE for services to football in 2015, highlighting how far the women’s game had progressed in England. With 130 appearances at international level, a playing career spanning nearly twenty years and coaching stints with Chelsea Ladies and the Lionesses, Stoney headed into her Manchester United Women tenure with plenty of experience. That stood her in good stead throughout the team's inaugural season, 2018/19, as the Reds won the FA Women's Championship title and were therefore promoted to the Women's Super League at the first attempt. Just a few months into the 2019/20 WSL season, it was announced that Casey had agreed a new contract with United, with the intention of keeping her at the club until at least 2022. In a statement to announce this on 8 November 2019, the head coach commented: "I am extremely proud to be involved with Manchester United and I’m honoured to be head coach of such an incredibly hard-working and talented team. I’d like to thank the club for the fantastic support they have given me since we started this journey and for the trust in what we are building here."