Helena Costa: French Ligue 2 side Clermont Foot appoint female manager to take side into a 'new era'

The 36-year-old becomes the most high profile female manager in football

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The Independent Football

Helena Costa will become the first female coach of a French professional club after it was announced today she will take charge of Ligue 2 club Clermont Foot next season.

The Portuguese Costa, 36, who worked as a scout for the Scottish Premiership giants Celtic between 2008 and 2011, will leave her post as the manager of the Iran national women's team.

The French club said in a statement today: "Helena Costa will coach Clermont Foot next season.

"Helena Costa came through the ranks at Benfica before taking charge of the women's teams at Odivelas, then the national teams of Qatar and Iran, in addition to working as a scout for Celtic.

"This appointment will allow Clermont Foot 63 to begin a new era, relying on a group of 17 players currently under contract, which will be added young players from the club"

Clermont are 14th in Ligue 2 with two matches to go.

The previous most high-profile appointment of a women as coach of a European men's team was Carolina Morace, who managed two matches in charge of Italian C1 side Viterbese in 1999.

Celtic added in a statement: "We would like to congratulate Helena sincerely on taking up this new role. She did an excellent job for us and we know she will give her new position the same high level of commitment and dedication which she gave to Celtic."