Marc Skinner is targeting trophies with Manchester United Women as the recently-appointed head coach looks to build on the “great foundations” left by predecessor Casey Stoney.
Former England captain Stoney became the first head coach of the reformed club in 2018, leading them to promotion at the first time of asking before back-to-back fourth-placed Women’s Super League finishes.
Stoney stepped down from the post in May – amid reports of her frustration at the way things were being run – and was announced as head coach of San Diego’s expansion side last month.
Former Birmingham City Women coach Skinner was confirmed as her successor at the United helm last month, bringing his two-and-a-half year stint as manager of National Women’s Soccer League side Orlando Pride to an and.
“We’re at a club that wants to be successful,” Skinner said. “It’s putting everything in place to crave the successes that come from winning titles – that come from winning cups and that’s part of the reason that I came here, as well.
“Those are always going to be the ambitions that I want to achieve on a personal standpoint, but more importantly, I looked at what this team can do and the personnel and the characters, and I was fortunate to work with a few of the players before at Birmingham.
“For me, it was just always about being part of a group that has the potential to do that.
“I’m well aware – I watch from afar – of the quality in this league and the growing quality in this league from every team.
“It was the challenge, I think, and I think being here, our challenge is to win things. There’s no doubt about that. I haven’t come back to just exist.
“We’re building on great foundations that Casey’s left – and obviously, I wish her all the best as she travels over there to challenge herself in the NWSL.
“I’m so pleased to be with a group of players that has the kind of foundations that we have here. We’re going to be measured on our success, of course, when you’re at a club like Manchester United.”
Skinner is putting the squad through their paces at a training camp in Scotland and the United head coach says plans are afoot to improve the squad for this season and beyond.
The head coach also spoke of the support in place at a club where dissatisfaction had reportedly been grown behind the scenes about the backing the women’s team were getting.
“Do you know what, I obviously heard… you know you hear stories and you hear these things and I always judge things on my own experience of them,” Skinner said.
“Since I’ve been in, I’ve seen nothing but love, energy, commitment, drive and ambition towards our women’s team.
“Part of my job is that we wouldn’t expect anything less than that to come into a job like this.
“I’ve just felt, as I say, I felt at home from the off and I feel that this club, this team, even the staff around, they’re so supportive towards driving this women’s team to success and we will continue to grow.”
Skinner says the support stretches across the club, including United men’s team boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
“I emailed him,” he added. “I think it was five o’clock on a Friday and literally I think within 20 minutes he emailed me back and just said ‘I look forward to meeting you, welcome to the club and I’ll wander across and grab a coffee with you at some point so we can integrate ideas’.
“I’ve met all of the staff because obviously we’re based at the training ground. I’ve met all of the staff coming in.
“They’ve been nothing but friendly, want to help and support in any way that they can.”