Manchester United boss Stoney reveals retiring from playing was scary - 'you lose your identity'

Stoney has publicly supported Marcus Rashford's U-turn initiative
Stoney has publicly supported Marcus Rashford's U-turn initiative (PA)
15:14pm, Tue 31 Mar 2020
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Manchester United manager Casey Stoney has revealed she was 'scared' when she finished her playing career because she felt she had 'lost her identity'.

The 37 year-old retired in 2018 after 19 years as a senior player, enjoying spells at Arsenal, Charlton, Chelsea, Lincoln and Liverpool.

And while it helped that she went straight into management, she admits she still felt apprehensive about the next chapter.

Speaking on Man United's Instagram, she said: "If I'm honest, it's not an easy one. Retiring from playing football is scary, because you lose your identity and you lose what you love. But stepping into management was the only way for me.

"I've always loved football and I've always coached, since I was 17. I've been a player-manager and I've been a head coach. For me, it was very natural – but that doesn't mean it was easy!"

All English football is currently suspended until April 30 with Man United sitting fourth in the Women's Super League in just their first top flight season.

And with the players currently all training on their own, Stoney insists it is key to maintain contact for the mental strength and togetherness of the team.

"We have management meetings twice a week to discuss players," she added. "They've all got individual programmes they're committing to and we've got WhatsApp groups where they report their training.

"We've got some fun stuff going on in those, too, so we're staying connected mentally as well. It's really important that our players feel connected to us as a club and we're supporting them throughout this period. They're really motivated players, so it's not a problem for us."

The FA have stated they hope to see the WSL season completed by early August despite the coronavirus pandemic disrupting all major sporting competitions.

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