Having lifted the FIFPRO Best Women’s Goalkeeper Award in Paris, Mary Earps was keen to thank Sarina Wiegman – England’s head coach – for the role she has played in her success. Wiegman, who was crowned as the FIFPRO Women’s Coach of the Year for the third time, guided England’s Lionesses to a remarkable EUROs win last summer, and helped the team win the Arnold Clark Cup in February.
During Earps’ acceptance speech, she thanked her loved ones ‘who have picked me up off the kitchen floor to be here today – not specifically tonight, but a few years ago’. She also showed her appreciation for her teammates and the coaching staff at both Manchester United and England.
‘This is for anyone who’s ever been in a dark place – just know that there’s light at the end of the tunnel. Keep going, you can achieve anything that you set your mind to. Sometimes success looks like this, collecting trophies – sometimes it’s just waking up and putting one step in front of the other. There’s only one of you in the world, and that’s more than good enough. Be unapologetically yourself.’
However, Mary Earps’ highest praises were reserved for Sarina Wiegman. ‘I’ve run out of words to say thank you for giving me the opportunity to chase my wildest dreams, and believing in me the way you have.’ In an interview with BBC Sport after the ceremony, Earps said that ‘if it was an emergency act, it would have been CPR – that’s what she’s done to my career’.