Tom Sermanni, current head coach of New Zealand’s National Women’s Football Team, was the special guest in episode two of Football Coaches Australia’s “The Football Coaching Life” podcast.
Sermanni has been to five FIFA Women’s World Cups, three with the Matildas (1995, 2007 and 2011), one with Canada as an assistant coach (2015) and the fifth with New Zealand in France (2019). He has won the Algarve Cup (2013) with USA, the Asian Cup with the Matildas (2010) and was also named AFC Coach of the Year (2007). He is also set to take the Football Ferns to the delayed 2020 Olympic Games.
Speaking with Gary Cole, Sermanni touched on a range of topics including how he got into coaching, his philosophy as a coach, his coaching mentors, the lessons he’s learned along the way, his most enjoyable coaching moments and much more.
Key Quotes in Episode Two
On whether he was ready for his first coaching role with Canberra Croatia
“I don’t think anybody’s ready to coach. It’s one thing you learn and find out in later years.”
When quizzed on his coaching philosophy and if it has changed over the years
“I think the way that I’ve wanted to play and the way I’ve wanted to try and develop players…philosophically hasn’t changed.”
“I prefer to be someone that would go out to try and win a game, as opposed to go out to try not to lose a game.”
When detailing the number of staff now involved in a coaching setup these days in comparison to when he began coaching
“I can’t remember the last time I did a warm up.”
On one of his coaching mentors
“Ron Smith is one of those people I consult with, I chat with, I run tactics by him. He’s such a great motivator for me as well, he gives me fresh ideas.”
When asked why he coaches
“I enjoy the environment. You’re around high achieving young players; keen staff and you’re playing a sport.”
Final piece of wisdom for young coaches
“Be prepared to take a risk, be prepared to take a job that might not be perfect and be prepared to stay in the game.”