Only ‘a matter of time’ until a woman manages a men’s team, says Sarina Wiegman

Sarina Wiegman guided the Lionesses to Euro 2022 triumph

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Sarina Wiegman believes it is only “a matter of time” before a female manager takes charge of a professional men’s club in English football.

Men’s clubs in France and Italy have previously had women as full-time managers, while Hannah Dingley was placed in interim charge of Forest Green Rovers this summer.

Wiegman has been connected with high-profile jobs in men’s football after overseeing a period of unprecedented success for the Lionesses.

England’s women secured their first major trophy at the Euros last year and Wiegman guided her side to the final of the World Cup in Australia in August.

And the Dutch manager is certain that an English club will make a historic appointment at some point in the future.

“I think it will happen, I’m not sure how long it will take but I think it would be good,” Wiegman told the BBC.

“I think it’s a matter of time and that comes with the development of the game. Women are everywhere, women are head of countries and in business too.

“[But] the balance of women in high-ranked positions, that should be a little more balanced between men and women. In football, we’re not used to having women coaching men at the highest level.”

A number of the world’s most successful female managers have been connected to vacancies in the men’s game.

Chelsea manager Emma Hayes described rumours linking her with a job at then third-tier men’s club AFC Wimbledon as an “insult” to women’s football in 2021.

Chelsea manager Emma Hayes said links with Wimbledon in 2021 were an ‘insult’

Hayes is set to take charge of the United States women’s national team from next summer after announcing an end to her long tenure in west London.

Wiegman, meanwhile, has been mentioned as a possible successor to Gareth Southgate with England’s men, but insists her focus remains firmly on the Lionesses and developing more female coaches within the sport.

“My thoughts now are totally not in men’s football, my thoughts are with the women’s game and what we can do,” explained the 54-year-old, who won 99 caps for the Netherlands as a player.

“I really love my job for the FA and with England. This is the highest level, I work with world-class players, in the best facilities and expertise around me for support. I am just really enjoying it.

“I think you have to have projects that are giving extra attention to [developing female managers]. We need more women in football, so you have to do extra things.

Sarina Wiegman says she is happy in her job with the Lionesses

“What the FA is doing now with coaches coming into our environment and exploring is hopefully so they get inspired and want to stay in the game. We have to help them and encourage them.”

England next face Wiegman’s native Netherlands in the Women’s Nations League at Wembley on Friday 1 December.

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