Carla Ward: Aston Villa appoint former Birmingham City boss for WSL side


Ward’s Birmingham City side picked up four points against Villa in the WSL last seasonFormer Birmingham City manager Carla Ward has joined Aston Villa for the 2021-22 Women’s Super League season.

Ward, 37, managed the Blues to safety last season after previously leading Sheffield United to their highest Championship finish in 2019.

It was Ward’s first campaign in the WSL and she was nominated for the manager of the season award.

Ward’s resignation was accepted by Birmingham on 14 May, ahead of their FA Cup fifth-round win over Southampton.

Her season at the Blues was overshadowed by off-field problems after players wrote to the club’s board over the lack of quality in facilities and resources provided for the women’s team.

They eventually finished 11th on the final day, two points above the relegation zone.

Local rivals Villa finished a point above Birmingham but parted ways with interim boss Marcus Bignot and coach Gemma Davies, who was in charge before Bignot’s arrival.

Assistant Jenny Sugarman also left, as well as sporting director Eniola Aluko, who has pursued a position in US Women’s Soccer.

Japan forward Mana Iwabuchi was among seven Villa players to leave the club this week, with Ward expected to lead on recruitment immediately in the summer.

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