We at Cartilage Free Captain are still trying to process the news from early this morning that Tottenham Hotspur Women co-managers Karen Hills and Juan Amoros had been sacked by the club after a thrilling 2-2 Continental Cup draw against Arsenal last night. However, the news doesn’t stop. Just hours after announcing Hills’ and Amoros’ departure, Spurs have formally announced the appointment of Rehanne Skinner as the club’s new head coach.
Skinner has been a part of the England women’s setup for the past few years, first as U18s/21s National Head Coach and for the past three months as an assistant to Phil Neville with the Lionesses senior team. She is also a past assistant manager at Arsenal and had a professional playing career at Middlesbrough and Leicester City.
Skinner said, in a statement on Tottenham’s website, that she is thrilled about taking the Spurs job.
“I am really excited to be joining Tottenham Hotspur and cannot wait to get started in the WSL after the international break. The Club’s philosophy and future plans are something I was really keen to be a part of. They have shown a real commitment to the women’s team and have come a long way in a short period of time which is a credit to all the players and staff involved.
“There is some incredible experience within this squad and I am looking forward to getting to work with the players so we can build on the progress that has been made so far and bring future success to the team.”
In a statement printed in the Evening Standard, Skinner said she was excited for the opportunity to take her career in a new direction.
“I am incredibly excited by this opportunity and I would like to thank Phil, Kay Cossington and Sue Campbell for their understanding, and their recognition that this will be a great chance for me to further progress my coaching career.
“I have really enjoyed my time at The FA, working alongside some wonderfully talented people and with players who have done so much to put women’s football and our England teams in the spotlight. It will be very hard to leave but I will always have such fond memories of my ten years working with England teams.”
I’m going to be honest and say that I really don’t know much about Skinner or the kind of job she will do at Tottenham. The timing between the sacking of Hills and Amoros and the announcement of Skinner’s appointment means that this has likely been in the works for a while now. On a surface level, this looks like a hire that signifies ambition, though the club will need to at some point back up managerial ambition with financial support, something that hasn’t really happened yet. However, Skinner is clearly highly regarded in the England ranks.
It’s not easy to replace a long tenured manager like Karen Hills, especially after she took the club from the fourth division into the top tier of English women’s football. However, it’s important to give her a chance. Skinner will have a few weeks to work with her team and implement her training methods and tactics; Spurs Women’s next match is December 6, a home match against Brighton & Hove Albion Women at The Hive.