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By ESPN Staff

Powell behind idea of female Prem boss

Great Britain Olympic football coach Hope Powell sees no reason why a woman should not manage a Premier League team but admitted "there would be a lot of focus on the first female".

With 14 years of experience coaching the England team behind her, Powell is one of the most respected figures in women's football, and she welcomed the prospect of a woman crossing the divide into the male-dominated world of the men's game.

"I don't see why it couldn't happen,'' Powell said. "The job is the same. It is about dealing with personalities and high-profile players, about the coaching and the psychology behind the game. That wouldn't be an issue.

"It is about people who own and run clubs feeling strongly and passionately enough, and believing that a female can do it.

"There would be a lot of focus on the first female. If they do well, it is a good thing, if they don't it would be 'I told you they can't do it'. It is not on-pitch stuff. It is the other side that would be a challenge.''

Former Northern Ireland and Fulham boss Lawrie Sanchez raised the prospect recently, claiming that he expected it to happen "within a decade'', and Powell herself was linked with the Grimsby Town job last year.

But the Team GB coach, who will find out her side's opponents for the Olympics when the draw for the tournament is made on Tuesday, is not sure if she is willing to become the pioneer and make the switch into the men's game.

"I work for the national team. I work with the best female players in the country, playing against the best players in the world. Why would I want to leave that?'' she said.

"People are under the assumption that men's football is better than women's football. But is it all about money? It is about career opportunities and pathways.

"I don't know how the Grimsby story erupted and I am perfectly happy with what I am currently doing. "It hasn't happened yet, but if someone made me an offer, I would consider it. I would be foolish not to.''

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