“I didn’t choose the women’s game, the women’s game chose me.” The words of your new Scotland Women’s National Team Head Coach in 2018.
Pedro’s coaching career began back in 2005 in Madrid, with the Spanish lower-league side Pozuelo de Alarcón, coaching the youth sides – he subsequently held a similar role at La Liga giants, Atlético de Madrid with their ‘Juvenil’ teams.
His first role in women’s football followed two years later, as he took the reins at Pozuelo de Alarcón in the first division of La Liga. Success at Pozuelo saw him move on to Rayo Vallecano, where he would lead them to their first major trophy in his debut season – the Copa de la Reina.
In addition to this domestic cup victory, Pedro led his side to three successive league titles lifting the Primera División in 2009, 2010 and 2011. This success also saw Vallecano competing in the UEFA Women’s Champions League, reaching the last-16 in season 2010-11.
Such was Pedro’s success in his home country that it attracted the attention of those involved in the game stateside, and in 2012 he moved to NWSL club Western New York Flash as assistant to former New Zealand international Aaran Lines. He also held the key role of Advanced Training Instructor at the club’s academy.
In his debut season with ‘The Flash’, the team succeeded in winning the NWSL Shield, and finished joint League winners with Portland Thorns and Kansas City – his side eventually finished runners-up in the post-season play-offs. Pedro also combined his role at The Flash with the position of assistant coach at Niagara University’s Women’s Team.
During his time in the US, our new Head Coach worked with several of the biggest names in women’s football such as Carli Lloyd (306 caps for USA), Abby Wambach (255 caps for USA) and Sam Kerr (88 caps for Australia).
Following two years in the USA, 2014 saw Pedro made the move to the UK as Head Coach of Arsenal Women. His new role with SWNT means that he will, once again, be succeeding Shelley Kerr, having also done so at Arsenal.
Identified as the perfect candidate for the Arsenal role, as well as bringing more success to the Gunners, Pedro has said he was tasked with being “the person to bring the club from one level to the next level of professionalism” as the domestic game in England grew.
During his time at Arsenal, Pedro would work with a number of Scotland players, including Caroline Weir, Kim Little, Lisa Evans and Emma Mitchell. A successful spell in London saw the club win the FA Women’s League Cup in 2015 and the Women’s FA Cup in 2016.
Speaking in 2018 about his time at Arsenal, Pedro gave an insight into his philosophy: “In women’s football you have an obligation to your fans to play well all the time, to play exciting, offensive football, because if you want to promote the game you have to bring fans to the stadium. Hard work on the pitch was non-negotiable, playing attacking football was non-negotiable.”
Pedro’s impact in women’s football is clear through a number of top-class players he helped to develop; Daniëlle van de Donk, Katie McCabe, Beth Mead, Vivianne Miedema and Leah Williamson (as well as Kim Little and Lisa Evans) are all players he signed during his tenure at Arsenal.
Following his time with the Gunners, Pedro stayed in London as he took up the role of Director of Football at London City Lionesses, until the lure of a return to management took him to France and Bordeaux in the summer of 2019.
In his debut season, Pedro led Les Girondins to third place; their best-ever finish in the Division 1 Féminine – an achievement that netted him the Manager of the Year Award from L'Équipière. Under his leadership, this feat was repeated in season 2020-21, with Bordeaux qualifying for the UEFA Women’s Champions League.
Alongside the club’s achievements, his impact was further underlined by a record eight players from Bordeaux being called up to the French Women’s National Team.
In addition to his career in coaching, Pedro also holds degrees in Business & Sport Management and Sport Science. In 2018 he successfully completed his UEFA Pro Licence, having undertaken the course alongside current Scotland Men’s assistant coach, Steven Reid.