England’s Hardman .. led Canada’s women’s and men’s teams to the World Cup

England’s Hardman .. led Canada’s women’s and men’s teams to the World Cup
England’s Hardman .. led Canada’s women’s and men’s teams to the World Cup

England’s Hardman .. led Canada’s women’s and men’s teams to the World Cup

Simon Evans It was clear to anyone who saw hosts Canada at the 2015 Women’s World Cup that coach John Herdman, who looked different from any women’s team coach with his sheer enthusiasm and tight white shirt, was different.

Male coaches on women’s teams prefer to wear tracksuits to show signs of leadership in the dressing room, but this trend didn’t mean much to a man who’s garnered so much interest in women’s football. It’s clear that England’s Herdman was so confident in his relationship with his team that he wasn’t afraid of any criticism that might be aimed at him.

It came as no surprise that the Englishman, who made a name for himself as coach of the New Zealand women’s team between 2006 and 2011, used his newfound fame in Canada to seek a bigger career in women’s football. In fact, he was offered the opportunity to return to his homeland and manage the women’s national team.

He certainly wished he’d gotten a job at one of the big English clubs that were starting to pay a lot of attention to women’s football, but that didn’t happen and so came the surprise of 2018 when he left the Canada team, leaving him two by two Olympic bronze medalists led medals to take the lead of the men’s team. This sudden transformation left Canada captain Christine Sinclair “speechless” and raised many questions and doubts about his ability to take on responsibilities, but when Football Canada Association general secretary Peter Montopoli highlighted Herdman’s “work ethic” and “his passion, preparation and interest “in detail” as the main element for his attitude, no one could argue about these advantages.

No coach has ever led a women’s team to the World Cup finals and then a men’s team, but Herdmann wasted little time in explaining his intentions and desire to see Canada qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, despite Canada’s long track record of qualifying for the CONCACAF region.

Outperforming the Mexican and American giants

But Herdmann surprised the skeptics and managed to achieve success and top the CONCACAF group table against the Mexican and American giants after winning eight games compared to drawing four and losing two. And the Canadian team’s arrival to that success came as a surprise to the modest record holder who hadn’t won anything in his history except the Gold Cup in 1985 and 2000. His appearance at the 1986 World Cup is beyond many not remembered by the French, perhaps because Jean-Pierre Papin’s goal in the first round paved the way for the ‘Hahnen’ to take the final prize en route to the last four, where the trip ended 2-0 against West Germany.

Only captain and midfielder Atiba Hutchinson lived in this era, although he was only three years old and certainly cannot remember his country’s only participation in the World Cup and the loss of its three games against France (0-1), then against Hungary (0 :0) remembered -2) and the Soviet Union (zero). -2). Qualifying for the World Cup in Qatar completed a major transformation that the Canada national team had undergone since Herdmann took over in 2018.

At the start of the 47-year-old Englishman’s tenure, Canada sat ninety-fourth in the FIFA rankings, but four years later, last March, they found themselves thirty-third in the highest ranking in history (it’s currently 41). After a fantastic 2-0 win over the United States in January’s tenth round of qualifiers, Herdman said it was “the first time I felt like living in a football country” uniting the country behind the team and “that’s what we dreamed of, inspiring people.” . He believed that the current national team made people wear the Canada jersey with “honour” instead of the jerseys of teams like “Italy, Serbia or Greece”. to wear, given their roots.

Change the game forever

In a recent interview with The Times, Herdman said: “I’ve been proving people wrong my whole life. But I don’t want it to be about me, I want it to be about this group of men who will forever change the sport of our country forever.”
Among those men is winger/back-back Alfonso Davies, who has carried over his club-level successes with Bayern Munich to the national team and is also proving to be an inspiration for other players in a team that also includes another star player on the European scene, Jonathan David, who, like many key members of the team, has an immigrant background.
Herdmann played a key role in convincing many dual nationality players to play for the Canada national team, but he also hopes the World Cup will persuade Canada’s diverse community to embrace the national team. “You were at the World Cup once when there was little Italy, little Croatia and little Germany (immigrant neighborhood) in downtown Toronto, but now we see more Canadian jerseys on the street,” he said.

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