Bev Priestman will coach Chilliwack’s Jordyn Huitema with the Canadian national women’s soccer squad. (Canada Soccer photo)

Bev Priestman will coach Chilliwack’s Jordyn Huitema with the Canadian national women’s soccer squad. (Canada Soccer photo)

Bev Priestman named head coach of Canada’s national women’s soccer squad

Priestman returns to Canada after a stint in England, and she’ll coach Chilliwack’s Jordyn Huitema

Chilliwack’s Jordyn Huitema will have a new coach with Canada’s national womens’ soccer team, but it’s a familiar face.

Canada Soccer announced the hiring of Bev Priestman Wednesday morning.

Priestman spent 2013-18 as an assistant coach under former national team coach John Herdman, and would have been on the scene for Huitema’s earliest appearances with the national squad.

She takes over now for Herdman’s successor, Kenneth Heimer-Moller. He resigned at the end of the summer, taking a job as Head of Coach Education in the Danish Football Association.

Priestman currently resides in England where she was an assistant coach with that country’s national womens’ team. Along with head coach Phil Neville, she helped guide England to a fourth place finish at least year’s FIFA Womens’ World Cup in Tokyo.

READ MORE: Chilliwack’s Jordyn Huitema part of Canada Soccer Nation Inside colouring book

READ MORE: Chilliwack teenager Jordyn Huitema joins Paris Saint-Germain blazes soccer trail

She also served as coach of England’s women’s U18 team that was supposed to compete in the FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup in India.

That tournament was pushed back to 2021 due to COVID-19.

Priestman has long been laser-focused on taking a head-coaching role, and now she’s got it.

“When I went to England, I always said from Day 1 that I wanted to be a No. 1,” she told The Canadian Press. “And so this is part of that jigsaw piece.

“For me, it (Canada) is a top-10 nation, two (Olympic) bronze medals, the scrutiny and expectations you get with that. What I’ve learned about myself is probably you get the best out of me in those moments.”

The 34 year old doesn’t have much time to settle in.

Her team is due to participate in the rescheduled Summer Olympics, next July in Tokyo and the Canadians haven’t played a game since March.

Looking at the current Canadian roster, Priestman sees a “brilliant blend of experience and youth.” She knows there is little room to manoeuvre short-term with COVID-19 restrictions, not to mention the limitations of an 18-woman Olympic roster.

“You have a short-term focus due to COVID and the Olympics and hopefully change the colour of the medal. And then you have a longer-term focus.”

That includes a changing of the guard.

“My job is to make that transition really easy with the young players and get that blend right at the right time.”

– With files from the Canadian press


@ProgressSports
eric.welsh@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

chilliwacksoccer

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

FIle
Agassiz-Harrison Lions continue stocking tradition

Club is looking for a variety of items

Read the full 2019-2020 annual report report online at www.seabirdisland.ca.
Seabird Island looks back in 2019-20 report

Highlights include COVID response, new development, upgrades

LEFT: Krista Macinnis, with a red handprint across her face that symbolizes the silencing of First Nations people, displays the homework assignment that her Grade 6 daughter received on Tuesday. (Submitted photo)
RIGHT: Abbotsford School District Kevin Godden says the district takes responsibility for the harm the assignment caused.
Abbotsford school district must make amends for harmful residential school assignment: superintendent

‘The first step is to unreservedly apologize for the harm … caused to our community’: Kevin Godden

File photo
Outdoor recreation generates close to $1 billion annually in Fraser Valley: report

Camping, hiking and sportfishing generate the most spending, report finds

A new Sardis secondary school logo designed by a former student, Jason Roberts. (Facebook photo)
Chilliwack’s Sardis secondary unveils new logo done in Coast Salish style

The new-look Falcon is meant strengthen connections between Indigenous students and their school

Mary Cox and Jack Plant dance in their pyjamas and slippers at the morning pyjama dance during the Rhythm Reelers’ 25 Annual Rally in the Valley Square Dance Festival in Chilliwack on June 4, 2011. Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 is Square Dancing Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Nov. 29 to Dec. 5

Square Dancing Day, Disability Day and International Ninja Day are all coming up this week

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Kevin Bieksa during his days playing with the Vancouver Canucks. (Photo: commons.wikimedia.org)
Bieksa to guest on free Canucks Alumni ‘Hot Stove’ on Zoom app

Former NHL player has become a game analyst on Sportsnet

Elissa McLaren broke her left elbow in the Sept. 20, 2020 collision. (Submitted)
Surviving victims of fatal crash in Fraser Valley asking for help leading up to Christmas

‘This accident has taken a larger toll financially, mentally and physically than originally intended’

Chilliwack school trustee Barry Neufeld (left) and former BCTF president Glen Hansman (right).
BC Court of Appeal left to walk tightrope of freedom of expression in Neufeld-Hansman case

Is defamation lawsuit aimed at stifling free expression or does the defamation hinder free speech?

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

114 Canadians were appointed Nov. 27 to the Order of Canada. (Governor General of Canada photo)
Indigenous actor, author, elder, leaders appointed to Order of Canada

Outstanding achievement, community dedication and service recognized

Screenshot of Pastor James Butler giving a sermon at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack on Nov. 22, 2020. The church has decided to continue in-person services despite a public health order banning worship services that was issued on Nov. 19, 2020. (YouTube)
2 Lower Mainland churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

Pastors say faith groups are unfairly targeted and that charter rights protect their decisions

Most Read