Sarina Wiegman to succeed Phil Nevillle as England Women head coach

Wiegman led Netherlands to victory on home soil at Euro 2017 and to the 2019 Women's World Cup final; will begin England tenure after next summer's Olympics

Sarina Wiegman
Image: Sarina Wiegman has been named as the new England Women head coach

Sarina Wiegman has been appointed as permanent successor to England Women head coach Phil Neville.

Netherlands head coach Wiegman, who has signed a four-year deal, will remain in her current role through to next summer's rearranged Olympic Games in Tokyo, before beginning her tenure in September 2021.

Wiegman, who won 104 caps for the Netherlands as a player, guided her country to victory at Euro 2017 and to last year's World Cup final, where they were beaten by the USA.

"I'm delighted and honoured to join England Women next year," Wiegman said.

"England is the cradle of football and the major developments in women's football globally over recent years have been led by The FA. I'm very much looking forward to contributing my experience and expertise to this ambitious team."

Image: Wiegman guided the Netherlands to victory at Euro 2017

The 50-year-old's first major tournament with the Lionesses will be the Euros, which were postponed by a year because of the coronavirus pandemic, on home soil in 2022.

The FA's chief executive, Mark Bullingham, added: "We are thrilled to have secured Sarina to lead the Lionesses until 2025. She was the outstanding candidate from a very strong field.

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"Having won a home EURO in 2017 and leading the Netherlands to the final of the FIFA Women's World Cup last year, she is a proven winner and we are confident she can take England to the next level, giving us the best possible opportunity of achieving our ambition to win a major tournament."

Sarina Wiegman has a 71 per cent win record with the Netherlands
Image: Sarina Wiegman has a 71 per cent win record with the Netherlands

Neville announced in April he will leave his position at the end of his three-and-a-half year contract next July, with former USA head coach Jill Ellis, who has won the past two World Cups, among the early contenders.

The FA's director of women's football, Sue Campbell, said: "Sarina was our number one choice. She is the perfect cultural fit for us, which is crucially important in building a winning team. Her technical expertise, leadership skills and winning mentality is hugely impressive."

An announcement on who will take charge of Great Britain at the Games from July 23 to August 8 will be made in due course.

'Wiegman has overseen incredible growth in Netherlands'

Netherlands manager Sarina Wiegman 2:42
England have appointed Sarina Wiegman as their next head coach of the senior women's team, succeeding Phil Neville at the end of his term next summer

Sky Sports News' Jess Creighton:

"When this role was advertised the last time around, the FA were disappointed at the quantity and quality of the applicants. This time they had 142 people apply. A handful were shortlisted and interviewed and Sarina Wiegman was the standout candidate. The FA says Wiegman was their "No. 1 choice". They gave her a glowing endorsement, which is reflected in the fact she's been given a four-year contract.

"Her CV is very impressive indeed. She was the assistant head coach of the Netherlands in 2014; she stepped up in 2017 and just seven months later, led the team to a European Championship trophy with a relatively small talent pool at her disposal. She then proved that wasn't a fluke as she led the Netherlands - in only their second appearance in a World Cup - to the final.

"Phil Neville had admitted he wasn't that well versed in the women's game when he first took the job - but Wiegman knows it inside out.

"She has done an incredible job building momentum in the women's game in the Netherlands. She has focused on the elite in the first instance; she's demanded high standards and professionalism. That has had a knock-on effect at grassroots level; participation and audiences are up. The World Cup final against the USA was the most-watched women's football game in Dutch TV history - 5.5m tuned in. There's been a real attitude and cultural change in the Netherlands and she's overseen some incredible growth."

What next for Phil Neville and Team GB?

Phil Neville during an England Women's training session
Image: Phil Neville will remain in charge of the Lionesses until the end of his contract next summer

"This is where it gets a bit messy. As it stands, Wiegman is not due to take over until September 2021. That's because she wants to lead the Netherlands to the Olympics next summer; she wants to finish the job.

"But Phil Neville's contract runs out during the Olympic football tournament so if he was to take charge of Team GB, he would need a contract extension. I'm not getting the sense that is what he wants and I'm not getting the sense it's what the FA wants either.

"They say they will look to tell us who the Team GB manager will be in due course, after they've spoken to the other Home Nations. But I doubt it will be Phil Neville and it definitely won't be Wiegman so the FA are still very much in recruitment mode."

Wiegman in mould of Koeman

 Sarina Wiegman 0:51
Dutch football journalist Marcel van der Kraan compares Netherlands Women manager Sarina Wiegman to Ronald Koeman with Wiegman in advanced talks to succeed Phil Neville as England Women head coach

Marcel van der Kraan, Sports Editor of De Telegraaf, told Sky Sports News:

"I think if we had to compare her with a men's coach then I would say she is the Dutch women's version of Ronald Koeman.

"Tough but not blunt. Outspoken but never rude. Technically one of the best and because of her stature, [through] what she has created with all the success she has had, she has gained huge respect and also managed to pass that on to her players.

"I think that is why she is a driving force not just for the Dutch national team but women's football in total."

Steph Houghton, Rachel Daly and Millie Bright train with England Women manger Phil Neville 1:42
England's Rachel Daly says she would like Neville's successor to push the side to be the best team in the world

Wiegman the 'one person' who can take England to world No 1

"If there is one person who can take the English women's team to [world No 1] it will be Sarina Wiegman," Van der Kraan added.

"We don't send many coaches out in Holland to the world at the highest level who can really achieve things. In England, there have only been a couple - Guus Hiddink, Ronald Koeman and Louis van Gaal had a go, but he found it difficult at Manchester United.

"It proves that when you work in England the media attention is absolutely huge. The expectations from the English public are huge.

"The girls in the English team would expect bigger things from her. Sarina has been proving at international level, at the World Cup whether it was against USA or anywhere else, that she is capable of achieving the biggest things."

Williams: Wiegman has winning mentality

COLCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 28: Fara Williams of England controls the ball during the FIFA Women's World Cup Qualifier between England and Kazakhstan at Weston Homes Community Stadium on November 28, 2017 in Colchester, England. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
Image: Fara Williams has made over 170 senior appearances in an England shirt

Fara Williams, who is the most capped England international in history, is convinced Wiegman can take the Lionesses one step further and help them win a major trophy.

"In terms of what she has done at international level, it is a fantastic appointment for England. For this England team, the next level for them is winning and I think she has got that in her to take this team to that next level," Williams told Sky Sports News.

"This England team have been there or thereabouts for the last few years, and for us now it is about winning. We need a manager to take us to the next level and actually bring that.

"She certainly has that winning mentality, she's proved that by winning the Euros with the Netherlands, in a short space of time after taking them. I definitely think she is the right for us in terms of style of play and I definitely think she can take us to the next level with the group of players that we have."

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