Sarina Wiegman reveals she ‘took classes in English football’ before landing job with Lionesses, as the Euros-winning manager admits having reservations about leaving Holland
- Sarina Wiegman led the Lionesses to the European Championships title in July
- She previously won the same tournament with her native Holland in 2017
- The coach has spoken of how she had reservations about taking the England job
- Wiegman discussed immersing herself in English culture to prepare for the role
- Ultimately, she felt her nationality had not held her back with the Lionesses
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Sarina Wiegman says she immersed herself in English culture before taking charge of the Lionesses and leaving her native Holland.
But Dutch coach Wiegman, who made history by winning the Euros with two countries, admitted she considered her nationality before taking the job but does not believe it has held her back.
Sarina Wiegman made history by winning the euros with two different nations
The 53-year-old took the Lionesses to their first major trophy at Wembley in July
‘I thought about it when I first got in contact with England when they reached out to me. I was head coach of Holland, but my first thought was can I leave the Netherlands [as a country], I grew up there, it’s my country.
‘England is a big football country, the WSL, the potential of the team, so I started to have conversations.
‘When I got there I tried to know more about your culture – although the countries are really close together there are some differences in culture so I really tried to learn. I took some English classes in football.
She also won the European Championships with her native Netherlands side in 2017
‘I said “I will learn about your culture and try and adapt to your culture but the directness 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 we can still grow a lot. I think the FA and the players and staff enjoy it too and think we have a very good collaboration.’
Meanwhile, former Lionesses star and record goalscorer Ellen White announced she is expecting a child with husband Callum Convery in April next year.
‘I just want to congratulate her but I haven’t had the time to call her yet,’ Wiegman said. ‘I’m very happy for them.’