Sarina Wiegman says attraction of managing another ‘big football country’ shaped England boss job move

SARINA WIEGMAN revealed she mulled over whether she would be able to leave the Netherlands when the chance to manage the Lionesses arose. 

The head coach, 53, said the lure of managing in another ‘big football’ nation  was among the draws that attracted her to the role.

Sarina Wiegman says she took classes on English football as part for her preparation to coach the LionessesGetty

AFPWiegman and her players have their sights set on World Cup success after their triumph in the Euros in July[/caption]

Wiegman was speaking a day after a number of pundits, journalists and football fans engaged in debate on whether a manager of England national football side needs to be English. 

Debate had arisen amid reports regarding Gareth Southgate’s future after the Three Lions boss led his side the Qatar World Cup quarter-finals this month.

On Tuesday, via Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher shared his opinion that gaffers of the national team should be English. 

Meanwhile some fans have highlighted Wiegman, who led the Lionesses to a Women’s Euros crown, as an example of a coach from overseas succeeding as an England national team boss . 

When asked if her nationality was a factor in her decision to take up her role Wiegman said: “I thought about it when I first got in contact with England when they reached out to me. 

“I was head coach of the Netherlands, but my first thought was. ‘can I leave the Netherlands [as a country], I grew up there, it’s my country’

“Most of the time when some people reach out to me to ask if I’m interested in a job, after a couple of days it would just fade ‘no I’m going to stay with the Netherlands’. 

“But this one stuck with me. This is very exciting.

“It’s a big country, England is a big football country with the WSL and the potential of the (national) team, so I started to have conversations.”

Since her appointment last September, Wiegman led the Lionesses on a 26-game unbeaten run with England winning their first major trophy in the team’s 50-year history this July. 

Their silverware success came five years after the Netherlands-born head coach guided the Dutch national women’s team to a Euros Championship win on home soil

On her efforts to adapt to English culture after agreeing up her role, Wiegman added: “Although the countries are really close together there are some differences in culture, so I really tried to learn. 

The success of the WSL and the challenge of managing of a ‘big football country’ were factors that led Wiegman to take on her jobGetty

“I took some English classes in football. I said I will learn about your culture and try to adapt to your culture  but also bring the directness as you have to know what is good

“I will not go around it or change that. 

“I think it went really well and we really enjoyed ourselves.

“I think the FA and the players and staff enjoy it too and we have a very good collaboration. We can still grow a lot.”

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