Laura Harvey is to step down as manager of UEFA Women's Champions League quarter-finalists Arsenal LFC to join Seattle Reign FC in the newly-formed National Women's Soccer League.
Harvey joined Arsenal's coaching staff in 2008 and became manager during the 2009/10 season, earning three straight league titles and making two European semi-finals. She has also been part of the England women's coaching set-up having previously played for and managed at Birmingham City LFC. She will move to Seattle in January.
According to a club statement: "With Arsenal Ladies not returning to competitive action until their Champions League quarter-final tie with ASD Torres in March 2013, the Club will now undertake a considered and thorough search for Laura's replacement."
"I've had a wonderful four and a half years with Arsenal Ladies and would like to thank everyone at the club for the fantastic support they have shown me thoughout my time here," Harvey said. "A special thanks must go to [general manager] Vic Akers for giving me the opportunity to manage this special club. It was always going to be a huge challenge taking over from such a legendary figure in the women's game but I've learnt so much from Vic and can't thank him enough for all that he's done for me."
Akers, the manager that led Arsenal to the 2007 UEFA Women's Cup in his 20th year in charge not long before stepping aside, added: "I want to thank Laura on behalf of everyone at the Club for the fantastic work she has done over the last few years. What she has achieved with this team, both in terms of the trophies she's won and the players she's brought through, has been remarkable."
Arsenal, in their 11th quarter-final, take on Torres over two legs on 20/21 & 27/28 March, with the first at home, for the right to play either VfL Wolfsburg or FC Rossiyanka in the semi-finals. The final will be held in London on 23 May at Stamford Bridge.
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