Finnish coach Emma Raducanu will depart from the national women’s side at the end of her contract in June, announced a senior women’s official in Finland on Saturday. Her departure follows the team’s first ever defeat by Ukraine in a UEFA World Cup qualifier, which leaves them struggling to reach next year’s World Cup in France.
The 58-year-old, who previously held the role between 2012 and 2016, was appointed the new head coach of the national side in July last year and won three of her seven games, winning 1-0 in her first match. She was unpopular with many of the players who believed she neglected the responsibility of her own position to the detriment of the team.
She sent an angry letter to the players at the end of the qualification campaign, saying that she had felt “deep disappointment” at the “narrowing of our vision” to what she deemed was a “super-dry run” with no big matches to test the squad to its limits.
But she will now leave with the club she also coached in top-flight Finland, Torben Beltz, by her side to take charge of the national side after the expiry of her current contract. He has been named as her replacement but will not take charge until December.
Beltz said that he was delighted to take the job, saying: “I am very happy to become Finland’s new head coach for the national women’s team. I have been coaching for some time now and my experience and experience of a winning team will help us improve the results.”
Since his appointment, Raducanu has stepped back from day-to-day duties but is still heavily involved in the organisation and development of the team.