Aston Villa trigger contract option for manager Carla Ward

Aston Villa have taken up the option to extend manager Carla Ward’s contract until the end of the 2023/24 season.

Ward joined Villa from second city rivals Birmingham in the summer of 2021, having guided the Blues to survival despite contending with a number of off field issues the previous season.

Her contract had been due to expire at the end of the 2022/23 season.

“This is terrific news for Carla and the club,” said Villa’s head of women’s football, Lee Billiard. “We have seen significant improvement in the team under her leadership and this contract extension will allow her to continue progressing and building on our strategy to develop the game.”

Ward led Villa to ninth place in the WSL during her first season in charge, and has her side currently sitting seventh, on course for their best ever top flight finish.

The club are also into the quarter-finals of the Continental Cup.

Villa enjoyed a strong summer transfer window, bringing in seasoned internationals Rachel Daly and Kenza Dali. Daly is currently the WSL’s joint top goal scorer with nine goals, and Villa have won five from 10 in the league this term – including a surprise opening day victory over Manchester City.

Ward has continued to shrewdly strengthen in January, signing experienced England internationals Jordan Nobbs and Lucy Satniforth from Arsenal and Manchester United respectively.

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