sport

Beard tipps Kerr for success

Former Arsenal Ladies boss Shelley Kerr has been backed to succeed as manager of Scottish men's side Stirling University by Liverpool Ladies manager Matt Beard.

Kerr became the first female boss to manage a senior men’s football team in Britain as her side drew 1-1 at home to Dalbeatie Star in the Scottish Lowland Football League on Saturday.

The 44-year-old – one of four female UEFA Pro Licence qualified coaches in Britain– won both the Women’s FA Cup and Continental Cup during her time at Arsenal after succeeding Laura Harvey last year

She left the club earlier this season after 16 months in charge but Liverpool manager Beard insists the former Scotland defender has all the qualities required to succeed as Stirling University’s manager.

"Shelley is a great coach. I spoke to her a few days ago to congratulate her and I know she’s looking forward to the challenge that lies ahead for her," Beard told Sky Sports.

"She’s worked hard to get where she is. She’s got her Pro Licence and you don’t get the qualifications that she has got without being a good coach.

"She’s worked with the Scottish national team in the past and did a great job at Arsenal, winning two trophies including the FA Cup in difficult circumstances, with a lot of turnaround in terms of players.

"She’s proved that she’s a good manager."

Earlier this year former Celtic Helena Costa was appointed as manager of French team Clermont Foot. She left without taking charge of a match for the Ligue 2 side but was replaced by former France women’s captain Corinne Diacre who has now been at the helm for four matches.

"We’ve had a couple of appointments in France with female managers going into the women’s game and now Shelley has gone and done it in Scotland, Beard said. "It just goes to show the progress that the women’s game is making.

"Shelley is very thorough as a manager. She prepares her teams well, she’s strict and very disciplined about the way she want her players to play and behave.

"I think the players will definitely accept her because she’s a good person and such a good character.

"She’ll probably find it easier managing men. Managing men and women is completely different of course in terms of the team environment.

"Men are more individually driven whereas women are perhaps more socially driven as a group. I’m sure she’ll be fine with that and I’m confident she’ll do well."