Netherlands girls’s coach displays on 2019
Dutch staff finish the yr with good document in Euro 2021 qualifying
Ladies’s Olympic Soccer Event subsequent on the horizon
The ultimate few weeks of the yr at all times present a chance to take inventory of the previous 12 months, and for Sarina Wiegman, the assessment of 2019 is more likely to be extraordinarily optimistic.
The pinnacle coach of the Netherlands girls’s nationwide staff steered her aspect to a runners-up medal on the FIFA Ladies’s World Cup France 2019™ and in addition rounded off the yr on the high of UEFA Ladies’s European Championship 2021 qualifying Group A with six wins from as many matches, in addition to 28 objectives scored and simply three in opposition to.
Requested for her standout second of 2019, Wiegman didn’t hesitate in reply: “The World Cup remaining in opposition to USA, no query.”
Regardless of struggling defeat in that showpiece encounter in Lyon, Wiegman can’t disguise her enthusiasm for the match. “It was the largest occasion of the yr,” she mentioned in an unique interview with FIFA.com. “I actually loved watching nice gamers in motion and, above all, watching my staff and the Individuals, who have been sensational. The thrill of qualifying for the competitors, our opening match in opposition to New Zealand and naturally the ultimate in entrance of 60,000 followers in Lyon… the ambiance and the power have been simply spectacular.”
The Dutch staff’s achievements earned Wiegman a spot among the many three finalists for The Finest FIFA Ladies’s Coach 2019 award, which was in the end received by her USA counterpart Jill Ellis.
What number of instances has she watched the ultimate once more? “Solely as soon as, truly,” she replied with a smile. “I’ll watch it once more, after all. However it took me a few days… effectively, to be sincere it was truly a few weeks earlier than I felt recovered sufficient and was capable of finding the time to sit down down, watch it and analyse what occurred.
“I at all times discover issues to enhance on,” she continued. “Even within the video games we win comfortably. However in that remaining I don’t suppose there’s a lot we may’ve modified. We have been shut. We stopped USA from scoring an early purpose and we had some possibilities ourselves, however ultimately I feel they have been the higher staff and so they deserved to win.”
Whereas Wiegman could have missed out on this yr’s The Finest FIFA Ladies’s Coach prize, she did win it in 2017 after guiding the Netherlands to the European Championship title that yr, a match that left an indelible mark on her.
“I’ll always remember the opening match in opposition to Norway,” she mentioned. “The stadium was fully decked out in orange. Our followers made it a fully unforgettable match. We weren’t anticipating a lot help, however they have been there from the very first recreation and so they have been an awesome further motivation for us.
“Profitable the ultimate was after all extraordinary after which the parade the subsequent day…” she added, earlier than operating out of phrases to explain the emotion of the event.
That match additionally served as a turning level, each for Wiegman herself and for her staff. “Numerous issues have modified since then,” she mentioned. “We’re not the darkish horses in any competitors – in truth we’re thought of favourites if something.
“We’re the staff to beat. International locations need to defeat us and all of that offers us a unique power, it forces us to maintain getting higher. The expectations on the staff have elevated, there’s extra media protection and the gamers are extra well-known now.
“The identical goes for me,” she continued. “My complete world has modified and I’ve needed to adapt. I’ve obtained a greater staff round me now. We confirmed what we’re able to on the World Cup and we’ve got to work laborious each day to keep up that degree and hold bettering. And we have to enhance rapidly as a result of everybody else is taking enormous strides ahead.”