14 games, 12 wins, 2 draws and a goal difference of 84:3: Sarina Wegmann’s tenure as England women’s national team captain is impressive.
From Wednesday, none of that matters anymore, it’s just about winning the European Championship title for the “Motherland of Football” for the first time.
Wijmann knows how to work, having coached Dutch women on their way to winning the European Championships on home soil in 2017.
This also earned her the 2017 World Coach of the Year award. Two years later, she also led Orange Lewinnen to the World Cup Final, where the USA were very strong in Lyon with a 2-0 win.
This is another reason why she is rightly considered one of the best coaches in women’s football. In September 2021, the 52-year-old Dutchwoman moved up the next step on the career ladder when she moved to the England national team.
Expectations placed on Phil Neville’s successor are high. In the third final in Federation history after 1984 and 2009, the first major success should finally be celebrated.
All competitive games won so far
“There are many candidates in the European Championships, we are just one of them. We have a good starting position, but we will stay on the ground and not take off,” says Wegmann. The first obstacles to overcome are Austria (6 July), Norway (11 July) and Northern Ireland (15 July).
It also lost the ÖFB (1-0) and Northern Ireland (4-0, 5-0) selection in the ongoing World Cup qualifiers. In this competition, the “lionesses” get the most points after eight matches and have not conceded any goal yet.
There was no victory under the new team except at the test level in the high-profile Arnold Clark Cup, where there were draws against Canada and Spain in February.
Foreman praised England’s decision
Austria’s team boss Irene Fuhrmann described Wegmann’s inauguration as a “smart move” and an “important building block” for being able to succeed in the domestic tournament.
“They brought in a coach who was in exactly the same situation as the coach of a nation playing at home at the European Championship. You also have to clean up and manage that as a character. I think this is a really great move by England,” says the 41-year-old woman from Vienna.
But Wiegman has not only made a name for herself as a coach, but has also managed to make her mark as a midfielder. She became the first Dutch woman to reach 100 caps, and in 2001, the captain took part in 104 matches.
After that, she made a strong effort to promote the development of women’s football in her homeland. At her former club Ter Leede, she successfully entered the club coaching business with a double win – still as a part-time employee.
Dutch pioneer in the field of men
This was followed by a move to The Hague and thus a first full-time commitment, which also saw the prospect of winning the Championship and Cup in 2012.
The successes did not go unnoticed by the KNVB, in 2014 she joined the national team as an assistant, followed by short stints as interim coach before she was finally allowed to rank at the start of 2017.
At that point, she had already earned her UEFA Pro licence, having completed her training in 2016, and was the third Dutchwoman to do so. After that she also worked as the first woman in her homeland in the men’s field, as an assistant coach in Sparta Rotterdam.
Text source: APA ©
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