Team behind the team: meet Sarina Wiegman’s England backroom staff

Arjan Veurink (assistant coach)

Veurink was recruited to be Sarina Wiegman’s assistant with the Netherlands women’s team after battling it out in the league with her when they managed the women’s teams at FC Twente and ADO Den Haag respectively. Wiegman won the league in 2012 and the Dutch Cup in 2012 and 2013 before joining the national team in 2014 as an assistant. Veurink beat Wiegman to the title in 2013 and retained it for the next three seasons, also winning the Cup in 2015. They have struck up a formidable partnership, guiding the Netherlands to a maiden European Championship trophy in 2017 on home soil and to the 2019 World Cup final.

Arjan Veurink and Geraint Twose oversee a training session.
Arjan Veurink (left) and Geraint Twose, Sarina Wiegman’s assistant coaches, lay on a training session. Photograph: Nick Potts/PA

Geraint Twose (assistant coach)

Spent 17 years with Cardiff City, much of it as the assistant academy manager. He was recruited by the FA in 2013 and has since been a youth coach educator, providing support to clubs. Twose also spent eight months as head coach of England men’s under-15s and has been with the women’s senior side for more than five years, including through the 2017 Euros and 2019 World Cup. Supported Team GB during the Tokyo Olympics.

Darren Ward (goalkeeping coach)

The former Wales international worked for Sheffield United before taking on his role last year. At United he coached Dean Henderson and is credited with helping him earn an England call-up. Henderson told the Sheffield Star that Ward – who made most of his appearances for Notts County and Nottingham Forest – was “the best goalkeeping coach I’ve ever worked with”.

England’s goalkeeping coach, Darren Ward, with Mary Earps during training.
England’s goalkeeping coach, Darren Ward, with Mary Earps during training. Photograph: Nick Potts/PA

Ritan Mehta (women’s lead performance doctor and team doctor)

Has worked in football for 14 years, starting at Barnet as the club doctor and head of medical services in 2008. Mehta has since worked for the FA as an itinerant team doctor for the men’s and women’s development teams, as a club doctor at Watford and is currently also a club doctor at Reading. He has worked with the women’s senior side since 2014 and is a consultant in sport and exercise medicine at the Fortius Clinic and Centennial Medical Care.

Martin Evans (physical performance pathway lead)

Worked in rugby and cycling before joining the FA in 2017. Early in his career he worked in strength and conditioning with the Cardiff Blues academy and Glamorgan Wanderers. Evans spent six months with the Welsh Rugby Union working with the under-20 squad and three years working for Sport Wales. Between 2011 and 2017 he was a strength and conditioning coach with British Cycling.

Kate Hays (head of performance psychology)

The sports psychologist has been working for more than 20 years across a range of sports. She was at British Diving for 11 years and worked with Harlequins rugby club from 2011 to 2014. Hays was head of performance psychology for Sport981, which provides performance training services for athletes, clubs and other organisations, and worked for the English Institute of Sport for more than seven years before joining the FA in 2021.

Sarina Wiegman applauds England’s players along with members of her backroom staff, including Dr Kate Hays (third from left)
Sarina Wiegman and her backroom staff, including Dr Kate Hays (third from left), applaud England’s players. Photograph: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Anja van Ginhoven (general manager)

A player in the Netherlands before she started working in communications. She was a media officer for the Dutch Football Association for two years from 1998 and rejoined as a media manager for the women’s national team in 2018, sandwiching work at a number of places including Dutch broadcaster NOS and Discovery. Van Ginhoven is the owner of De PR Garage, which specialises in media and communications in sport. Last year she linked up again with Wiegman, taking the role of general manager at the head coach’s request.

Kay Cossington (head of women’s technical)

Has worked in women’s football for the FA for more than 17 years. Cossington was manager of West Ham’s women’s team from 1999 to 2005, then spent about four years as technical director with Millwall Lionesses. She managed the British Universities and College Sport GB team and is a coach mentor and consultant for Fifa and Uefa respectively. She has coached various women’s youth national teams and has been head of women’s technical for almost 15 years.

The Guardian