The Spanish Women’s National Team begins a new stage after winning the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. The RFEF have decided to dismiss Jorge Vilda from his position as coach and Montse Tomé has been chosen to replace him. The Asturian becomes the first woman in the history of Spain to coach the senior team.
Jorge Vilda’s right-hand woman in the last five seasons will be in charge of leading the Spanish team in one of the most complicated times outside the sport. The players were asking for improvements and significant changes to return to play for Spain and the RFEF have acted to try to improve the situation, which was becoming increasingly complicated with the Rubiales case.
Montse Tomé makes the final jump and takes the reins of Spain after winning the long-awaited World Cup. This decision has broken a barrier that has been requested for quite some time: it will be the first time that a woman holds the position of coach in the 42-year history of the national team.
If there are no unforeseen circumstances, she will make her first call-up on Friday 15 September and make her debut on the bench on 22 September in the first match of the Women’s Nations League against Sweden in Göteborg. On September 26, she will make her first test in front of the Spanish fans in Córdoba against Switzerland.
There are many people who don’t know Montse Tomé. Before becoming a coach, the Asturian player played for Oviedo, Levante and Barcelona. Her first steps were close to home in Oviedo Moderno and in 2007, after standing out, she moved to Valencia. Her only title as a player was achieved with the Granota team, the Superliga in 2007.
In 2010 she moved to the Catalan team to play two seasons at a good level. The Asturian even played several matches in the senior national team. However, in 2013, at the age of 30, she decided to retire to become a Physical Education teacher. At that time, it was very difficult to make a living from football and it was common for players to hang up their boots very early.
Montse Tomé is passionate about soccer and realized that she could not live away from this sport. She decided to take the coaching course, where Jorge Vilda was one of her teachers. In 2018, after taking the course, comes her opportunity to start as an assistant to the senior team. Her first experience as a solo coach was in 2020, where she took the reins of the U-17, while also exercising as second the absolute.
Later, the Asturian would take charge of the U-20 team. In her cabinet she has a U-17 World Cup and the U-20 European Championship, in addition to the senior World Cup achieved this summer in Australia and New Zealand as second coach. The Asturian hasn’t had any other experience as a coach outside the national team.
Montse Tomé is characterized as a person with a lot of character and a lot of passion for football, as she has shown on the field and on the bench. She hasn’t stopped working in the shadows to get to the top. During the World Cup, she has been very active in training and always giving instructions in matches. She seems to have had good communication with the players.
For the RFEF, she was the main candidate to take the reins of Spain because she knows the players well, and thus be able to follow a ‘continuity’ line. The RFEF haven’t wanted to risk everything and prefer to continue with practically the same coaching staff. The biggest criticism of Montse Tomé after announcing that she will be the head coach has been her lack of experience as a head coach.
After the dismissal of Jorge Vilda, the names of Natalia Arroyo (Real Sociedad) and José Luis Sánchez Vera (Levante) sounded very strongly. Both coaches have a long history in clubs and were the favorite options of the fans for their good results at the helm of different teams. However, the RFEF apparently didn’t want such a radical change with all the controversy involved.
Hopefully, everything will get better and we will start talking only about football very soon. The players are the most important thing in this sport and they have the last word. In less than a week, we will know if this is enough or not, all in the midst of a possible strike. It is a pity that the greatest achievement in the history of Spanish women’s football hasn’t been talked about and that they have to continually demand minimum rights.
Montse Tomé will have the opportunity of a lifetime in her hands at a rather complicated time. The 23 players who won the World Cup decided to stand up and not return to a call-up until there were significant changes in the structure of the National Team. The biggest unknown will be to see if the players see the change in the bench as enough to return to play for Spain.
Translated by Marcos Rodríguez.
Main image: @SEFutbolFem.