The coach whose team could spoil the FIFA Women’s World Cup dreams of Australia has made no secret of her past ambitions to coach the Football Ferns.
Bev Priestman (37) will coach the Canada team in their crucial Group B match against Australia in Melbourne on Monday night (10pm NZT), with both sides needing to win to ensure they reach the knockout stages.
Priestman worked for NZ Football between 2009 and 2013, as head of women’s football.
Main photo: Bev Priestman at a media briefing in Melbourne. Photo credit: Elsa – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images.
Since then, she’s been the assistant manager of the England women’s national team and then achieved her biggest success when coaching the Canadians to beat Sweden to win gold at the Tokyo Olympics.
Her wife is Wellington-raised former Ferns midfielder Emma Humphries, who has managed at Liverpool FC and coached the Canada U-17 team.
Humphries told Stuff in September 2020 that it would be a dream to return to New Zealand to coach the Football Ferns one day, potentially even in tandem with Priestman, who she revealed has been open about her interest in the role in the past.
Priestman signed up to play futsal in her English home town of Consett when she was 12, playing for coach John Herdman who now coaches the Canadian men’s national team.
Herdman was Priestman’s manager when he worked at NZ Football.
Last year, Herdman was reportedly the frontrunner for the then-vacant All Whites coaching job but signed an extended contract this year to stay with the Canada men’s national team.
Group C games in Hamilton and Wellington
Meanwhile, Group C will be completed in New Zealand on Monday evening with games in Hamilton and Wellington.
Japan and Spain have already made sure of their progress to the Round of 16 but their match in Wellington will decide who goes through as the winner of the group.
In Hamilton, Costa Rica and Zambia play for pride as neither side can qualify for the next round.
Games to be played on Monday July 31, 2023
Japan v Spain
Sky Stadium, Wellington, 7pm (NZT)
Costa Rica v Zambia
FMG Stadium Waikato, Hamilton
Canada v Australia
Melbourne Rectangular Stadium, Melbourne, 10pm (NZT)
Republic of Ireland v Nigeria
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, 10pm (NZT)