Dutch boss Wiegmann to replace Neville as England coach
Sarina Wiegman is to replace Phil Neville as head coach of the England women's football team next year, the Football Association (FA) announced on Friday.
The 50-year-old Dutch woman will take charge of the Netherlands in next year's Olympics before assuming control of England. The former Dutch international defender will be in charge when England hosts the 2022 Euros, the 2023 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand and the following Euros in 2025.
Wiegman was the FA's preferred choice ahead of reportedly two-time World Cup winning former USA coach Jill Ellis. Ellis's second World Cup triumph came at the expense of Wiegman's Dutch side last year. "Sarina was our number one choice," said Sue Campbell, the FA's director of women's football.
Wiegman said she was delighted to be taking over a side whose country had been at the forefront of developing women's football in recent times. "I'm delighted and honoured to join England Women next year," Wiegman said in a statement.
"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."
Under Wiegman, Holland won the 2017 European Championship as hosts. Wiegman -- who in 2001 became the first Dutch footballer to be capped 100 times -- says she wants to bow out on a high next year. "The ride with the Oranje Lionesses has been amazing so far, but we haven't reached our final destination yet," she said.
"There are two more goals: qualifying for the Euros in 2022 and challenging at the Olympics next summer. That would be a fitting completion for me of everything we've strived to achieve in women's football in my home country. I will do my utmost to add another chapter to their remarkable journey before making my next step."
Neville coached England's women to fourth place at the 2019 Women's World Cup but the former Manchester United's star waned as their form slumped following that. He announced in April he would be stepping down when his contract expires in July next year. There is a possibility he could be the Team GB coach at the Olympics in Tokyo next July -- postponed from this year due to the coronavirus pandemic -- but the FA are not taking any chances as he has indicated he would like to coach a club.
The Games run from July 23 to August 8. The FA said it will talk to the other home nations over the post for the Olympics and a decision will be announced in "due course".