Sarina Wiegman discusses trip to World Cup base camp and hotel
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England Women head coach visited the Central Coast Stadium in Darkinjung and the Crowne Plaza Terrigal Pacific hotel as part of her trip to Australia
The Lionesses squad will be based at the Central Coast Stadium in Gosford and the Crowne Plaza Terrigal Pacific hotel during the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
So last week, Wiegman visited both to meet with venue staff and also representatives of FIFA as they continued planning for this summer’s tournament.
“We received a really warm welcome in Australia,” said Wiegman. “The people at the stadium and the hotel were really nice and are happy to have us stay with them next summer.
“The hotel and the stadium look really good and the area around them is really nice too.
“They will be preparing the pitch for when we get there but it already looks really good so I’m convinced it will be a good place for our base camp and I’m really happy with it all. Apparently, the pitch has been voted as the best in Australia in the past few years.
“It’s good to have somewhere to base ourselves. Yes, we have to travel but we don’t have to travel to New Zealand back and forth so it means we can have a base camp in Australia, otherwise it would not be convenient because you want to keep your travelling as low as possible.
"We’d also like to create a home away from home feeling, having one base throughout the tournament really helps, that was one of the key learnings from last summer.”
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Wiegman travelled to Australia with members of the support staff and took the opportunity to talk through the logistics and look around the facilities, such as the pitch, dressing rooms, gym and meeting areas.
The England head coach continued: “We were able to get a good picture of what lies ahead but it also gave us a chance to get connected with the people there and talk through our needs, what they can provide us and now we’re able to work through our plans.
“We can really get our preparations ready now and can inform them of what we are looking for so they can help facilitate our needs.
“Everyone was very accommodating and very helpful, and wants to be on this journey with us, so we are happy and we had a very good trip.”
It capped off a historic year for England Women, after they lifted a first major tournament at the UEFA Women’s EUROs. It means they will now take on Brazil in the inaugural UEFA-CONMEBOL Women’s Finalissima on 6 April.
“Our last camp was back in November so we haven’t seen the team for a while but coming up we have the Arnold Clark Cup, the Finalissima and another game in April before we need to be ready [for the World Cup],” added Wiegman.
“The players have their club activities as well so in March the Champions League starts up again and after April they will be working towards the final stages of their competitions so they will be in important stages of their club competitions too.
“We know where we are as a team, we know what we want and now we can finalise our plans.
“We are of course developing the style of the team too, which is always a dynamic thing and we have our plans from camp to camp.
“So we’re really looking forward to it and for the staff and with the logistics, it’s becoming clearer and we’re getting further and further in developing our plans and then executing them.”