Birmingham City: Carla Ward named manager of WSL club on two-year deal

Carla Ward
Carla Ward spent four years at Sheffield United as head coach

Women's Super League side Birmingham City have appointed Carla Ward as their new manager on a two-year deal.

Ward, 36, led Sheffield United to second place in the Championship last season - their highest finish.

But United said in a statement last month that the club and Ward "had parted company" as "both parties have opted to go down a different path".

Blues ended second-bottom in the WSL last season, with the table decided on points per game because of coronavirus.

Ward said:external-link "This is a massive opportunity and one I'm looking forward too. Blues is a massive club with a great history.

"I'm a people person with a holistic approach that is very much based around the player.

"I'm a big believer, particularly in my playing days, if we've got the players smiling and confident and buying into what you've got to do then you've got half a chance.

"Straight away it's about getting the players together and kicking on."

BBC Sport understands that England assistant coach Bev Priestman was also approached for the job.

Ward joins up with the squad for the first time on Friday.

So far this summer, eight players have left Birmingham, including captain Kerys Harrop and England international Lucy Staniforth, while the club are yet to make any signings.

However, BBC Sport understands Ward has already lined up several targets and is hoping to announce signings and the arrangements of pre-season friendly matches over the next week.

Birmingham travel to Brighton in their opening fixture of the 2020-21 season on the weekend of 5-6 September.