Sarina Wiegman’s university coach could see elite qualities ‘incredibly early’

Anson Dorrance said the England manager was a ‘very serious’ person while playing for the University of North Carolina women’s team.

Josh Payne
Friday 11 August 2023 18:55 BST
England head coach Sarina Wiegman arrives for a press conference at Stadium Australia, Sydney (Zac Goodwin/PA)
England head coach Sarina Wiegman arrives for a press conference at Stadium Australia, Sydney (Zac Goodwin/PA)

England manager Sarina Wiegman’s former university coach has said he could tell “incredibly early” she had something that set her apart from her teammates.

University of North Carolina women’s coach Anson Dorrance told the PA news agency Wiegman was a “very serious” person while she played for his team but declined to take any credit for her success.

He said: “I’m not going to take credit for anything.

“This is an amazing young woman, she was brought up in a fabulous culture.

I think the difference between her and most of the kids I was coaching back then is the Europeans come in with a greater maturity

Anson Dorrance, University of North Carolina women’s coach

“She’s about the collective.

“Right now England needs the collective coach, because with the players they’ve lost before this event and the players they’re losing… now losing James for a couple of games, it has to be about the collective.

“But no, I don’t take any credit at all – I think it’s her influences, I think it’s the Dutch culture.”

Dorrance continued: “Did we help her to a small degree? Yeah, I think she had a good time playing for me, we loved her.

“But I am never going to take a piece from her success – we attribute it to her and the culture she’s a part of.”

Asked if he could tell she was interested in the managerial side of the game, Dorrance said: “I think the difference between her and most of the kids I was coaching back then is the Europeans come in with a greater maturity.

“So she was a very serious person, even while she was playing for me.

I'm in pain because my chest is puffed out so far - I just love everything she's doing

Anson Dorrance, University of North Carolina women’s coach

“We had a wonderful culture of great kids, very talented kids, but she always seemed to be a tad more serious than anyone else.

“You can even see her in press conferences – you’re interviewing a serious individual.”

He added: “Then you would see her on the sidelines because the camera’s spending half the time on her face, and she looks very serious.

“She’s not laid back with her head back against the seat she’s sitting in, enjoying life – she’s really engaged.

“These are qualities I think any elite manager has to have.

“So yeah, I think you could say you could see something in her even incredibly early that set her apart.

“I’m in pain because my chest is puffed out so far – I just love everything she’s doing.

“Go Sarina, go England, win the whole damn thing would you, please?”

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