Portsmouth coach takes centre stage with Messi

Portsmouth-born USA coach Jill Ellis
Portsmouth-born USA coach Jill Ellis
Matt Clarke. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Jill Ellis has insisted her Fifa women’s world coach of the year award was a ‘team effort’.

The coach, who grew up in Cowplain and studied at Padnell Junior School, collected her award, alongside Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi, at a ceremony in Switzerland last night.

Ellis led the USA women’s team to World Cup glory in Canada last year.

The 49-year-old was nominated for the award alongside England’s Mark Sampson and Japan boss Norio Sasaki.

And she quickly dedicated her triumph to her support network.

Ellis said: ‘My award is for everyone connected with me – from the players, staff and everyone with USA football. This award is a team effort.’

Carli Lloyd scored a 13-minute hat-trick in USA’s 5-2 success over Japan in the World Cup final.

Lloyd was named women’s world player of the year and thanked Ellis, among the rest of the team’s staff and players, in her acceptance speech.