“A very intensive year”

VfL head coach Tommy Stroot reflects on passing his Pro Licence coaching badge.

VfL-Wolfsburg-Frauentrainer Tommy Stroot hält eine Urkunde in den Händen und lächelt.

Earlier this week VfL Wolfsburg Women head coach Tommy Stroot received his certificate for successfully passing a 13-month UEFA Pro Licence coaching course. As one of 16 participants in the 69th edition of the programme, he has now achieved the highest level of coaching badge available. In this interview, the She-Wolves boss looks back on the past 13 months.

Tommy Stroot, many congratulations on receiving your UEFA Pro Licence. What does it mean to you?

Tommy Stroot: “It’s very special, because it’s the highest coaching badge you can get as a football coach. That’s why I’m delighted to have completed this course. At the same time, I’m extremely grateful to the club, my coaching staff and also my players that we were able to find solutions together that enabled me to do this course while also fulfilling my duties as head coach.”

Just how challenging was that juggling act?

Stroot: “It was very demanding to do both at the same time, especially considering the way last season panned out. We reached the Champions League final and had lots of midweek fixtures. I remember after we beat Arsenal 3-2 after extra time that I waited at an airport in London until four o’clock in the morning in order to take a flight to Istanbul to attend my course. That just goes to show how intensive this past year was, but also how wonderful it was.”

Were there any particular highlights for you during the course? For example, shadowing Erik ten Hag at Manchester United?

Stroot: “The week I spent with Ole Werner in Bremen was fascinating, partly because we’re quite similar in terms of our personalities. He’s a bit calmer and not as extroverted as others maybe are. That made it exciting to witness the way he works and what routines he has. Obviously shadowing Erik ten Hag at Manchester United was also a highlight. I was given access to everything there, from pre-match team meetings to a trip for a friendly game. Being able to be involved like that was very special.”

The Pro Licence will be obligatory for all coaches in the Women’s Bundesliga from 2025 onwards. How sensible and feasible do you think that is?

Stroot: “In essence it’s another step towards making the league more professional, which is good. Here at VfL, when we discussed whether or not I would do the course, we knew that this requirement would come at some stage. That’s why we searched for the ideal time to do it, which was over this past year. Other coaches still have to face this challenge. It’s definitely feasible if the coaching staff are well coordinated.”