The Hope Powell effect
Powell deserves recognition as a pioneer of the sport. Her appointment as the first full-time England manager in 1998 and subsequent 15-year period at the helm were pivotal. A former player with 66 international caps, she instigated massive reform while in charge, fighting the FA for facilities, the establishment of a national pathway, and central contracts. The latter, of which there were 17 initially, gave players the chance to become full-time footballers. They are seen as one of the first steps in the sport’s professionalisation.