Manchester United will kickstart the 2021/22 Women’s Super League season this evening in the opening match against Reading.
The Reds are looking to build on their fourth-place finish last term, but they must first show how well the team performs under a new reign.
Marc Skinner, who joined United from Orlando Pride in July, has opened up on how it feels to be at the hilt of such an exciting club, and how it feels to step into Casey Stoney’s shoes.
“I feel privileged, there’s no doubt about that,” Skinner said of his new role. “We know the professional Casey is and I’m privileged to not only take over from Casey but to be at a club like Manchester United.”
The Casey Stoney era
When the Man United women’s team was reintroduced in 2018, there was so much excitement surrounding the news.
Stoney stepped into the role as the first women’s team manager in 13 years, her appointment coming mere months after retiring from her playing career.
After three years with the Red Devils, the former England international has started a new chapter in San Diego, but left a huge legacy behind her in Manchester.
In their first season together, Stoney spearheaded the team to the 2018/19 Championship title, and in turn, promotion into the Women’s Super League.
United finished fourth in back-to-back seasons before Stoney made the decision to leave the club for pastures new.
A new chapter at Man United
Although Man United have lost key players including Lauren James and US duo Christen Press and Tobin Heath, Skinner is confident he can bring success to the red side of Manchester.
“It’s okay to say that you’re going to give everything because you feel like you’re going to get everything in return. We have a great foundation to work from, I think it’s really important that that’s stressed and celebrated. Also, there’s lots of great learnings here for the players to continue to do.”
Skinner said his move to Man United just “felt right” and described the club as almost a “kindred spirit” with similar objectives.
“It’s ambitious, it’s got heritage and history,” he said. “Our hope is to be as successful as we can be, there’s no doubt this club needs to be successful.
“What we’ve got to do is navigate the choppy waters of the season. What we say and what we want – we have to make sure we align them.”
Manchester United will play hosts to Reading in the first Women’s Super League match of the 2021/22 season this evening. The match will kick off at 19:45 BST at Leigh Sports Village.