CLERMONT: Corinne Diacre has started work as new coach of French second division club Clermont, the first woman coach to take up the role in one of the top two divisions in European professional football.

Diacre, former French international, was appointed after the sudden resignation of Portuguese coach Helena Costa.

Some 40f fans and 20 journalists watched the first training sesson under her command.

She said afterwards: “I felt a little apprehensive but that will ease off by the end of the first day. I am delighted and very happy to be here. I want to go a long way with Clermont. It will not be easy but the players seemed happy to see me .

“I had a few them a few words in the dressing room before training, introduced myself and set out my values. We have two friendlies this weekend [Saturday against Châteauroux, Sunday against Dijon] which wil help me understand things better.”

Asked about the inevitable extra pressure she said: “I live with pressure all the time. I am a competitor and I was the first in many things and I welcome the president’s initiative in appointing a woman coach.

“I think the fuss will die down when the championship starts.”

Clermont’s first competitibe game under Fiacre is against Brest on August 1.