CASEY Stoney has confirmed her long-term goal is to lead Manchester United’s newly-formed women’s team into the Champions League.
Stoney, who was born in Basildon, was named the Manchester United boss after the club’s 13-year absence from the senior women’s game was ended by being handed a place in the FA Women’s Championship ahead of the upcoming campaign.
And although Stoney’s side are set to enter the new second tier of women’s football, the former Runwell Community Primary School pupil has high hopes with Manchester United.
Stoney, who won 130 England caps and skippered Team GB at the 2012 London Olympics during a trophy-laden playing career, said: “Our short-term ambition is to get the players on the training ground, get them working, embed a philosophy, get playing in the Championship and make sure we’re successful there.
“Long term, we want to be a successful team within women’s football and that means Champions League football.
“I haven’t put a timeframe on it. I think we’ve recruited well with players. We’ve got an exciting young squad. I know they will be ambitious.
“Ideally we’d love to be promoted in year one but we also know there are 10 other teams who want to do that. They’re not just going to roll over and let Manchester United win the league.”
Manchester United, who disbanded their previous women’s side in 2005, were awarded a licence to join the second tier in May amid the Football Association’s restructuring of the women’s leagues in England.
Stoney, who grew up in Wickford, will lead the newly-formed side following a brief spell as Phil Neville’s assistant with the England national side.
And the 36-year-old believes Manchester United could change the face of women’s football.
The former central defender added: “Because the club is so big and has so much reach, they do things with immaculate detail. They take care of everything.
“I think we have the potential to change the face of the game because of the fanbase, the profile, the way we’re going to do things on and off the pitch, which will excite people in the game to come and watch.”
England internationals Siobhan Chamberlain and Alex Greenwood were announced as Stoney’s headline signings as Manchester United’s squad was announced ahead of the new term.
“We’ve gone young, we’ve gone exciting, we’ve gone entertaining,” confirmed Stoney.