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Helena Costa of Portugal backed out of coaching men's division 2 soccer team in France (Laurent Cipriani/AP Photo)
Helena Costa of Portugal backed out of coaching men's division 2 soccer team in France (Laurent Cipriani/AP Photo)

Clermont’s female soccer coach knows she’ll be looked at differently Add to ...

Corinne Diacre, the new female coach of Clermont Foot, acknowledged on Monday that the spotlight of attention would be pointed straight at her at the Ligue 2 club.

The 39-year-old was appointed on Saturday following the resignation of Helena Costa, 36, who last month became the first female to be named coach of a men’s team in the top two divisions of European soccer.

Costa surprisingly quit last week, saying that she found out players were being hired without her consent, and Clermont moved swiftly to bring in the former France women’s captain as her successor on a two-year deal.

“I am used to being the first at things,” Diacre told a news conference. “I know my role will be viewed differently from that of my male colleagues but I know why I’m here and I’ve got my priorities clearly sorted.

“I’m always putting myself under pressure. I am meticulous, I am a competitor.”

Diacre said her first impressions had been positive after meeting the Clermont staff and players.

“They were smiling this morning,” she added. “What’s important to me is they looked me straight in the eye, not avoiding my gaze, which I appreciated.”

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