Mark Sampson takes up coaching role at Stevenage

Former England Women manager Mark Sampson has joined the coaching staff at Sky Bet League Two club Stevenage.

The 36-year-old was sacked by the Football Association in September 2017 following the emergence of “inappropriate and unacceptable behaviour” in his previous role as manager at Bristol Academy.

Sampson was dismissed one day after England beat Russia 6-0 following a previous safeguarding investigation into his time at Bristol, where he had a six-month relationship with a player aged over 18.

He had also been the focus of bullying and racism claims, first made by Eni Aluko and then Drew Spence.

The FA said the allegations were investigated and Sampson was cleared of any wrongdoing.

But Sampson, who reached a financial settlement with the FA over his dismissal in January of this year, conceded he should have handled the claims differently, saying it would always be a “big regret” and apologising unreservedly to the two players.

He has returned to football as first-team coach at Stevenage under manager Dino Maamria.

“We are fully aware of Mark’s past issues with the FA,” Maamria told the club’s official website.

“I have known Mark for a long time and we have discussed what happened at length.

“I am convinced of his character and skillset. He will be a big asset to the club moving forward.”

Stevenage also announced the appointment of experienced coach David Oldfield to the same position.