Canada Soccer has named John Herdman to the post of Men’s National Team Head Coach and Men’s National EXCEL Director, effective immediately. Herdman takes over the role of Men’s National Team Head Coach from Octavio Zambrano who has departed Canada Soccer. Kenneth Heiner-Møller will take over as Women’s National Team Head Coach and Women’s National EXCEL Director after serving as an Assistant Coach alongside Herdman since 2015. Additionally, Bev Priestman will assume the role of Women’s National EXCEL Director U15-U23 and Women’s National Team Assistant Coach.
“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,” said Canada Soccer President Steven Reed. “We are pleased to have such a capable successor in Kenneth Heiner-Møller 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 4th in the world. On behalf of Canada Soccer, we would also like to thank Octavio for his contributions over the past year and wish him well in his future endeavours.”
Herdman, who was awarded the 2017 Jack Donohue “Coach of the Year” Award from the Coaching Association of Canada (CAC), has a long history of success with Canada Soccer including two Olympic bronze medals and a sixth place finish at the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015™.
Heiner-Møller joined Canada Soccer in 2015 as a technical coach with the Women’s National Team and served as assistant coach for the Rio 2016 Olympic Bronze Medal winning team. Heiner-Møller brings a wealth of experience having served as Denmark’s Women’s National Team Coach from 2006 to 2013 including leading them to qualification for the FIFA Women’s World Cup China 2007™.
“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 Canada Soccer 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.”
In his new role, Herdman will take over responsibility for the Men’s National Team through to all men’s national youth teams from the U-14 age level and up. As he has done with Canada Soccer’s Women’s Program, his new role will see him further build an alignment through the age-groups and with key stakeholders to standardize and develop consistent tactical approaches, and refine youth programming to ensure a constant supply of elite players to Canada Soccer’s Men’s National Team. In streamlining the talent development structure, Herdman will ensure the strategic focus, resources and attention are channelled to the areas where it is needed most, while further maximising the potential of Canada’s best players.
“It’s a great honour to join the Men’s National Team Program and I want to thank Canada Soccer for this opportunity to grow and develop the sport in this country through a one country, one system approach,” said Herdman. “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.”