Kelly Smith to join Arsenal’s coaching staff until end of the WSL season

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Former Arsenal striker Kelly Smith has joined the Women’s Super League club’s coaching staff until the end of the season.

The PA news agency understands the 44-year-old is joining the first-team set-up on an informal basis, working with the squad a couple of times a week, and will be in the technical area for next Monday’s Champions League semi-final second leg against Wolfsburg at the Emirates Stadium.

Smith has been working at Arsenal’s girls’ academy while completing her A License with the Professional Footballers’ Association.

Across three spells playing for the Gunners, from 1996 to when she retired in 2017, Smith scored 125 goals in 144 appearances and helped them claim a glut of silverware.

That included winning a quadruple in 2007, with her having netted 30 goals in 34 games across the four competitions.

She also scored 46 times for England – a record Lionesses haul until Ellen White surpassed it in November 2021 – and played for Great Britain at the London 2012 Olympics.

Smith told the Times: “After speaking with (Arsenal manager) Jonas (Eidevall) and Clare (Wheatley, the club’s head of women’s football) it was a really easy decision to join the coaching set-up here.

Smith celebrates with the FA Cup (Nick Potts/PA)
Smith scored over 100 goals for Arsenal and helped them win a glut of silverware (Nick Potts/PA)

“It’s an exciting time to become part of this team – we’ve seen over the past few weeks just how resilient and together they are and I’m look forward to working with them more closely on and off the pitch at this key point in the season.

“I love this club and it’s such a great feeling to be wearing the Arsenal badge once more.”

Eidevall’s side, who won the Continental Tyres League Cup last month, drew 2-2 in the first leg of the Wolfsburg tie last weekend, fighting back after going 2-0 down. They are currently fourth in the WSL table, six points behind leaders Manchester United with a game in hand.

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