England captain Leah Williamson admits victory at Euro 2022 has still not been “grabbed” and explained how “ruthless but respectful” Sarina Wiegman has changed the team’s mindset.
The Lionesses beat Germany 2-1 after extra time in the final last month to lift the country’s first major trophy since the men’s side won the 1966 World Cup.
Williamson, who led England to four clean sheets from six – the tournament’s best defensive record – opened up about a ‘crazy’ story in an interview with sky sports.
“The more I think about it, the more I remember it,” she said. “At the time, I remember being very relieved because you say you want to do something and you actually do it. My eyes widened, but I don’t remember much.
“The more I think about it now and the more I think about what we’ve done, I couldn’t be more proud of the girls.
Asked if winning the trophy was already well known, Williamson replied: “I don’t think so. I think when we go into the season and we see the change in attendance or when we continue to beat those records and doing things that change the game so maybe it will be fine.
“The only thing that sank was that we did something a little crazy because everyone kind of knows who we are.”
“How Wiegman Changed Our Mindset”
England’s success saw boss Sarina Wiegman become the first manager to steer two different nations to European silverware, following her 2017 triumph with the Netherlands.
Her overall record in the competition stands at 12 wins in 12 games and Williamson revealed how the 52-year-old helped the Lionesses create history.
“Sarina changed things in terms of how we didn’t chase the end goal, we chased the day-to-day, which makes a difference,” Williamson said.
“When you make it a habit and you get up every day and just do your job, you know exactly why you’re there and you just tick little boxes and when you get to those games it’s just a another stage of the journey, which she made a reality for us but also the conviction that we were going to do something good.
“Every time we went into a game we honestly thought we were going to win it, so it calms you down anyway because you look around and think ‘we’re fine’.
“Trust with each other is what we’ve been working on and our vulnerability, so when we got into those games, it’s ultimately just a game of football.
“Before the final she said ‘we don’t need to win today, we really, really want to.’ I think that change in mentality is then a good thing because we don’t have to do anything, but we want to.
“She respects the culture of English football for what it is and she really bought into that side of things from her point of view.
“But her Dutch origin is straight to the point, a bit ruthless but very respectful. So she has the respect of everyone, but she wastes no time and it’s all for the purpose of winning.
“So even if you don’t agree with something, you’ll still respect it, which makes all the difference in the world because you’re cutting out all that noise and it’s all about winning.”
Inspired by the Lionesses of England? How to watch the WSL live on Sky Sports
Watch the stars of England’s Euro 2022 triumph play in the Women’s Super League live on sky sports during the 2022/23 season when the new campaign kicks off on Saturday 10 September.
The curtain raiser of the season between Tottenham and Manchester United at 12:30 p.m. will be broadcast live sky sports.
England captain Leah Williamson will lead her Arsenal side in a WSL opening weekend clash at Manchester City before the Sky cameras on Sunday, September 11.
The opening matches of the weekend
Here is the first round of fixtures for the 2022/23 Women’s Super League season. All matches kick off at 2 p.m. on Sunday, September 11, unless otherwise stated:
Tottenham vs Manchester United, Saturday September 10 – live on Sky Sports; kick off at 12:30 p.m.
Chelsea vs West Ham – 12.30pm, Sunday September 11
Everton vs Leicester City – 1pm, Sunday September 11
Brighton v Aston Villa
Reading v Liverpool
Manchester City vs Arsenal, September 11 – live on Sky Sports; kick off at 7 p.m.
Key dates for the 2022/23 season
- Barclays Women’s Championship opening weekend: August 20/21, 2022
- Barclays Women’s Super League opening weekend: SSeptember 10/11, 2022
- FA Women’s Continental League Cup Final: March 4/5, 2023
- Last weekend of the Barclays Women’s Championship: April 29/30, 2023
- Vitality Women’s FA Cup Final: May 14, 2023
- Last weekend of the Barclays Women’s Super League: May 27/28, 2023
Your club’s list of Women’s Super League matches