First News - - SPORT -

ENG­LAND’S women’s foot­ball team is wel­com­ing a new head coach in for­mer Dutch player Sa­rina Wieg­man, win­ner of more than 100 caps for her coun­try and a suc­cess­ful coach of her coun­try’s women’s team.

Sa­rina has been de­scribed as calm, pa­tient, hon­est, funny and like­able, and had a bril­liant ca­reer as a foot­baller be­fore she turned to coach­ing. Her at­ten­tion to de­tail and abil­ity to make tough de­ci­sions led to the Dutch na­tional team win­ning Euro 2017 and reach­ing the World Cup fi­nal. She is due to take over from Phil Neville in Septem­ber 2021.

It was felt by many in the world of women’s foot­ball that the new coach should be a woman but there is no doubt that Sa­rina is ex­cep­tion­ally well qual­i­fied for the role. Baroness Camp­bell, the FA’s head of women’s foot­ball, said that she was the num­ber one choice. “Her tech­ni­cal ex­per­tise, lead­er­ship skills and win­ning men­tal­ity are hugely im­pres­sive,” she said.

Sa­rina was de­ter­mined to be a foot­baller as a child, and even cut her hair short to look like one of the boys. She was known for her en­ergy and di­rect­ing her team-mates on the pitch.

“She taught us that if you want to win, you have to stick to­gether and stick to the plan,” said Dutch star Kika van Es. “Even if we are 1-0 down we can still win if we stick to the plan.”

Sa­rina’s first ma­jor tour­na­ment with the English Lionesses will be Euro 2021, which has been post­poned un­til 2022.

Sa­rina Wieg­man coach­ing young­sters in The Nether­lands be­fore her ap­point­ment

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