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Leah Williamson: England captain on Euro 2022 glory and how 'ruthless' Sarina Wiegman changed squad's mindset

The Lionesses beat Germany 2-1 after extra-time in the Euro 2022 final last month to win the country's first major trophy since the men's side lifted the 1966 World Cup; England captain Leah Williamson, who led her side to four clean sheets out of six, spoke exclusively to Sky Sports

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England captain Leah Williamson says their Euro 2022 victory still hasn't truly sunk in

England captain Leah Williamson admits winning Euro 2022 has still not "sunk in" and explained how "ruthless but respectful" Sarina Wiegman has changed the squad's mindset.

The Lionesses beat Germany 2-1 after extra-time in the final last month to win the country's first major trophy since the men's side lifted the 1966 World Cup.

Williamson, who led England to four clean sheets out of six - the best defensive record in the tournament - reflected on a "crazy" story in an interview with Sky Sports.

England captain Leah Williamson lifts the European Championship trophy following her side's victory against Germany at Wembley
Image: England captain Leah Williamson lifts the European Championship trophy following her side's victory against Germany at Wembley

​​​​​​"The more I think about it, the more I remember," she said. "At the time I remember just feeling very relieved because you say you want to do something and then you actually do it. I was just balling my eyes out, but I don't remember much.

"The more I think about it now and the more I think about what we've done, I couldn't be prouder of the girls.

Asked if winning the trophy has sunk in yet, Williamson replied: "I don't think so. I think when we get into the season and we see the change in attendances or when we just keep hitting these records and doing things that are changing the game then maybe it will do.

"The only thing that's sunk in is that we've done something a little bit crazy because everybody sort of knows who we are."

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England's Millie Bright and Leah Williamson celebrate winning the UEFA Women's Euro 2022 final at Wembley Stadium, London. Picture date: Sunday July 31, 2022.
Image: England celebrate after winning the final at Wembley

'How Wiegman changed our mindset'

England's success saw boss Sarina Wiegman become the first manager to lead two different nations to European silverware, following her 2017 triumph with the Netherlands.

Her overall record at the competition stands at 12 wins from 12 games and Williamson revealed how the 52-year-old helped the Lionesses to create history.

"Sarina's changed things in terms of how we didn't chase the end goal, we chased the day-to-day, which does make a difference," Williamson said.

"When you make it habitual and you get up every day and just do your job, you know exactly what you're there for and you just tick little boxes off and when you get to these games, it's just another step on the journey, which she made a reality for us but also the belief that we were going to do something good.

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What makes Sarina Wiegman so special? How did it feel to play in front of 87,000 fans? Who was in charge of the dressing room tunes? Keira Walsh joins Soccer AM to reflect on the Lionesses' Euro 2022 success

"Every time we went into a game we genuinely believed we were going to win it, so that makes you calm anyway because you look around and think 'we're all right'.

"The trust with each other is what we worked on and being vulnerable so that when we went into these games, ultimately it's just a game of football.

"Before the final she said 'we don't need to win today, we just really, really want to.' I think that change in mindset is then good because we don't need to do anything, but we want to.

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The England team crashed Sarina Weigman's press conference singing 'Football's coming home' after they won Euro 2022

"She respects English football culture for what it is and she's really bought into that side of things from her point of view.

"But her Dutch background is straight to the point, a bit ruthless but very respectful. So she has the respect of everybody, but she doesn't waste time and everything is for the purpose of winning.

"So even if you disagree with something, you would still respect her, which makes all the difference in the world because you remove all that noise and everything is with the focus of winning."

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England's Euro 2022 winner Alessia Russo explains why her and her team-mates have pledged to encourage as many girls to start playing football as possible

Inspired by England's Lionesses? How to watch the WSL live on Sky Sports

Watch the stars of England's Euro 2022 triumph play in the Women's Super League live on Sky Sports during the 2022/23 season when the new campaign gets under way on Saturday September 10.

The season's curtain-raiser between Tottenham and Manchester United at 12.30pm will be live on Sky Sports.

England captain Leah Williamson will lead her Arsenal side into an opening weekend WSL clash at Manchester City in front of the Sky cameras on Sunday September 11.

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Catch all the drama from the WSL as they kick off on the 10th September, live on Sky Sports

The opening weekend games

Here's the first round of fixtures for the 2022/23 Women's Super League season. All games 2pm kick-off on Sunday September 11 unless stated:

Tottenham vs Manchester United, Saturday September 10 - live on Sky Sports; kick off at 12.30pm

Chelsea vs West Ham - 12.30pm, Sunday September 11

Everton vs Leicester City - 1pm, Sunday September 11

Brighton vs Aston Villa

Reading vs Liverpool

Manchester City vs Arsenal, September 11 - live on Sky Sports; kick off at 7pm

Key dates for the 2022/23 season

  • Barclays Women's Championship opening weekend: August 20/21, 2022
  • Barclays Women's Super League opening weekend: September 10/11, 2022
  • FA Women's Continental League Cup final: March 4/5, 2023
  • Barclays Women's Championship final weekend: April 29/30, 2023
  • Vitality Women's FA Cup final: May 14, 2023
  • Barclays Women's Super League final weekend: May 27/28, 2023

Your club's Women's Super League fixture list

Arsenal

Aston Villa

Brighton

Chelsea

Everton

Leicester City

Liverpool

Manchester City

Manchester United

Reading

Tottenham

West Ham

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