- John Herdman leaves women’s team to coach Canada’s men
- Dane Kenneth Heiner-Moller takes charge of the women’s side
- Octavio Zambrano departs as part of the changes
John Herdman has taken charge of Canada’s men’s team and been replaced as women’s coach by his erstwhile assistant, Kenneth Heiner-Moller.
The 42-year-old Englishman succeeds Octavio Zambrano, who has lost his job as part of the shake-up, and also takes on the role of Men’s National EXCEL Director. Heiner-Moller, meanwhile, who previously coached his native Denmark between 2006 and 2013, will be assisted by Bev Priestman, 31, who led Canada at the 2016 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup.
Announcing the changes, Canadian Soccer Association (CSA) President Steven Reed said: “We welcome John to this new role, as he brings his success aligning Canada Soccer’s Women’s National Team Program over the past six years and his world-class technical coaching abilities to continue delivering results for Canada Soccer for the Men’s National Team Program.
"We are pleased to have such a capable successor in Kenneth Heiner-Moller, who has been a key part of the technical staff that has seen Canada capture back-to-back bronze medals and rise to its highest-ever ranking of fourth in the world.”
Herdman himself described being asked to take on the men’s team as “a great honour”, and he paid tribute to the players and staff he leaves behind with the women’s side.
He said: “Working with Canada Soccer’s Women’s Program, and the remarkable players and staff who have made the past six years so incredible has been an absolute privilege, and I am confident the team and entire National Women’s Team Program are in excellent hands with Kenneth and Bev. In taking on the roles of Men’s Program Director and Men’s National Team Head Coach, I am keen to put a lasting mark on a program full of potential with, as we work towards the ultimate goal of representing Canada on the world’s biggest stage at the FIFA World Cup.”
Herdman, who coached New Zealand before taking the reins with Canada, has led the women’s team to third-place finishes at each of the last two Olympic Women’s Football Tournaments, and to the quarter-finals of the last FIFA Women’s World Cup.
“It is easy to point to John’s record with Canada to demonstrate his effectiveness as a high-performance coach, in earning back-to-back Summer Olympic medals, he's achieved in team sport something no other coach in Canada has done in over 100 years,” said CSA General Secretary Peter Montopoli. “What makes him exemplary though, is his work ethic, his passion, his preparation and his attention to detail. We are looking forward to John bringing his expertise to our Men’s National Team Program.”