Fara Williams Backs ‘Exciting’ Sarina Wiegman to Finally Bring Glory to Lionesses



Williams remains England’s most capped international of all time | Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Fara Williams has backed new Lionesses manager Sarina Wiegman to finally bring a major tournament title to England once she takes over from Phil Neville next summer.

Wiegman’s appointment as Neville’s successor was announced last month, and England’s most capped player didn’t hesitate to talk up the women’s national team’s first ever foreign head coach.

Spoke to the eternal @fara_williams47 this morning for @90min_Football, hyping up Reading’s Welsh contingent, talking about the title race and her shortest ever pre-seasonhttps://t.co/fFUCrMlM4D

— Chris Deeley (@ThatChris1209) September 3, 2020

Speaking to 90min this week, Williams admitted: “I’m really excited by it, I’m really excited by her and what she’s going to bring. This England team, we were this close to winning gold. I feel like we’ve gone backwards a little bit, but we’ve got world class players and a squad that can go and win gold. I think she’ll be the manager that can get us that gold medal.

“She knows how to win, she has a winning mentality, the experience. She knows the women’s game inside out when it comes to international football, and knows how to win at that level. I believe that’s what they needed, and now they have it in a year’s time.”

While Williams hasn’t featured for the Lionesses since before the 2019 World Cup, the door was left open to a possible return by Neville – but the Reading midfielder, now 36, insisted that while she’s open to a recall, it’s low on her priority list.

“If I’m honest, I don’t really think about it,” she said. “I just think about performing for Reading. When I was left out, did I think I should’ve been involved? Yeah I did, I felt like I was in great form, but I don’t think about the international setup, it’s quite nice to just focus on playing club football. I certainly haven’t retired from international football.”

Remi Allen, Fara WilliamsWilliams remains one of Reading’s biggest threats | Alex Burstow/Getty Images

The current crop of England players are taking advantage of the growth of the women’s game to become arguably the most accomplished generation so far – with four English players in Lyon’s Champions League winning team last month – and Williams backed them to finally take teh final step to securing silverware as soon as next summer.

“We’ve got some unbelievable talent in this country. I was lucky enough to play with some of the older players when I was young and in terms of talent, they were fantastic – but in terms of athleticism and that side, it was different back then. This crop of players are the crop of players I believe should be winning major championships.

“It’s choosing the right group and having the right coach to bring the best out of them, but there are so many players in that squad who have won at Champions League level or WSL level. We have winners in our squad, we just need the right balance. We’ve come close, and I think Wiegman can bridge that gap. Hopefully the home Euros will be it. Some of the younger players on the fringes will have come through too, making that squad even stronger.”

This season BT Sport is showing more Barclays FA Women’s Super League matches than ever before. The season kicks off with Aston Villa vs Manchester City on Saturday 5 September live on BT Sport 2 and available for free on btsport.com, BT Sport App, YouTube and Facebook from 2pm.

For more from Chris Deeley, follow him on Twitter at @ThatChris1209!



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