‘Nations’ Tagged Posts

Teaching mentees making historical past for his or her nations

FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup 2018 (FIFA.com) 27 Nov 2018 © Getty Images Inaugural FIFA Coach Mentorship Programme took place last month Thr...


FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup 2018

© Getty Images
  • Inaugural FIFA Coach Mentorship Programme took place last month
  • Three coaches who took part have qualified for the U-17 Women’s World Cup semi-finals
  • FIFA.com speaks with Canada’s Rhian Wilkinson and Mexico’s Monica Vergara

Jill Ellis, Hope Powell and Asako Takakura will all be keeping a very close eye on Wednesday’s FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Uruguay 2018 semi-finals.

This may seem like an obvious thing to say about three accomplished and decorated women’s football coaches. However, this time around, there is added incentive for them. Just last month, they participated in the inaugural FIFA Coach Mentorship Programme at the Home of FIFA in Zurich, Switzerland, where they all became mentors for three young and aspiring coaches: Ellis for Monica Vergara, Powell for Rhian Wilkinson and Takakura for Gemma Lewis.

One month later and Mexico head coach Vergara, Canada head coach Wilkinson and New Zealand assistant coach Lewis have all led their countries to historic journeys by reaching the U-17 Women’s World Cup last four. For all three nations, this is their first trip to the semi-finals of the tournament.

“I’ve had messages throughout the tournament from Monica (Vergara) and also from Gemma (Lewis) and I’ve been supporting them and encouraging them, so of course, we’re invested in our own teams’ success, but to see people you care about succeeding as well is lovely,” Wilkinson, who won 180 caps for Canada, told FIFA.com. “I’ll be as competitive as the next person when it comes game time, but to know that she’s going through the same things I am, the process is very similar, it’s nice.”

© Getty Images

“I was a little skeptical at first (about the mentorship programme) because I didn’t understand how it would work when there’s a lot of overlap,” Wilkinson continued. “I thought it would be a bit cagey, but actually, the people that are willing and wanting to be involved are very giving of their time, knowledge and energy.”

Like Wilkinson, Vergara played for her country’s senior national team and featured in the Olympics. She has worked in various technical coaching roles within the Mexican federation and took over as head coach of the U-17 women’s national team in January 2018.

“It (mentorship) is what football represents,” Vergara said to FIFA.com. “It’s incredible all that the mentors share, how they opened their world and experiences, and it’s something that has helped me a lot before coming here to Uruguay.”

© Getty Images

Historic CONCACAF derby awaits
When Mexico and Canada face each other in the semi-finals at Uruguay 2018, it will be the first time that two CONCACAF teams have met at the U-17 Women’s World Cup.

“Her team is very similar to what she was like as a player: very passionate, very strong, never giving up on any ball,” Vergara said about Wilkinson, her upcoming opponent on the touchline. “It is the same thing I know about her as a coach: she is always cheering her team on, she is very passionate, seeing the positive side of things and getting the best out of her players.”

“She’s just a class human being,” Wilkinson said of Vergara. “I think the Mexico team reflects her in that they never give up. You saw that against Ghana, falling behind twice and coming back. They’re passionate about the game and, how she acts, you can see her players obviously love her and love playing for her.”

No matter the result on Wednesday, one thing is clear, the coaching fraternity in women’s football grows stronger by the day and there will be many who follow in their footsteps.

North America chosen to host 2026 World Cup by Fifa nations – because it occurred!


Mourinho: Messi and Ronaldo make their nations contenders

  • ​Jose Mourinho anticipates a ‘actually entertaining’ Russia 2018
  • The 55-year-old explains why Brazil and Spain are sturdy contenders
  • He reckons Messi and Ronaldo give their nations an opportunity

Jose Mourinho believes Brazil and Spain are the groups to beat on the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™, however feels the presence of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo – and that alone – offers Argentina and Portugal an opportunity.

“I actually like Brazil’s fundamental construction – their ways, mentality,” the Manchester United supervisor informed ESPN Brasil. “There’s a mix of pure Brazilian expertise with a critical, bodily, tactical method.

“It’s a staff able to defending nicely, of conceding few objectives, with a superb help base. They usually have an assault with Willian, Neymar, Philippe Coutinho and Gabriel Jesus… all gamers with distinctive qualities.

“I feel that with out Lionel Messi, the Argentinian nationwide staff wouldn’t be in rivalry. However with him, they’re one of many favourites.

“Portugal have an fascinating staff. With out Cristiano, it will be not possible. However with him, nothing’s not possible.

“There are the standard European groups, however I consider Spain are an actual staff once more. They’ve gamers, who comply with their identical philosophy and are tailored to their model of play. I feel Spain are in a greater place than the entire different European groups.”

Mourinho is happy for the 21st World Cup, and might be in Russia to look at a few of it.

“It will likely be actually entertaining,” he stated. “I will be in Russia for every week to comply with the video games, after which lastly trip.”

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