GARETH SOUTHGATE isn’t the only British director active in Qatar this winter.
When John HardmanThe 47-year-old from Conset in the Northeast is ready to make a difference by leading Canada to the World Cup.
From living alone at the age of 16 before finding a coach, Hardman’s rise was anything but unconventional.
Finding it nearly impossible to break into the British system without his resume as a player, he moved to the other side of the world, I found a role in New Zealand.
She eventually coached the women’s team, competing in two World Cups and one Olympics before moving to Canada.
Hardman, who started out as a women’s coach, transitioned to lead the men’s team in 2018 before leading them to their first World Cup since 1986.
There are skeptics at every turn, but the focus is no longer on silencing them.
“It’s a very toxic motive and you have to let it go.
“For the past two years, I’ve had a motivational goal. I mean, it’s been pretty toxic.
“I am now in this World Cup with the freedom to really enjoy the experience with these players.
“In this World Cup, there are only chances for Canada, so we have to approach it with that kind of freedom.
“The desire to prove people wrong has already been made.”
Herdman had to wrestle from an early age. He grew up in County Durham where he grew up watching the local steel mills close and his parents getting divorced.
Then his father who took him to see newcastle united As a young boy, I started struggling with mental health issues.
He decided to go it alone and lived alone in public housing at the age of 16.
“For me, it just laid the foundation for what my future will be. You’re relying on yourself here. Your parents aren’t here for you anymore.”
“You’re going to look after your parents to some extent. That’s it, you’re alone, son.
“Don’t ask for anything from anyone, don’t take anything from anyone, get it done. Just keep doing it.
“I am very strong-willed. If this is the direction we are going, I will dedicate my life to it.”
“I had two really tough years. It hit me within an inch of my life, my family fell apart, and I realized, ‘Yeah, my dad will probably never be the same again.’ whether you did
“It was a tough time and maybe we were going in the wrong direction.
“You know, I think coaching has saved us a lot.”
Not only did it save Hardman, it took him to football’s biggest stage.
Even before New Zealand, there were battles at home. Herdman explains:
“I felt that there was a culture that mostly protected players who gave their lives to the game and shut out players who weren’t really part of the club.”
Now Hardman got a chance to unite the nation by scoring Canada’s first goal in the World Cup final — All in preparation for the 2026 home tournament.
He said: “If you take this team to a certain stage, the whole country will come to a halt.
“It’s a big part of our heritage as we know it.
“This is an opportunity. When I say we have a real chance to tackle this problem, the country hasn’t had that feeling in about 36 years.”
He’s proven people wrong enough, but there may still be some questions to get out of the way.
Walk with a team that boasts numerous achievements MLS Players may also change some minds.
“MLS has had a huge impact on football in this hemisphere.
“In the last three years, there has been a shift in thinking.
“People look at Americans, and now Canadians like Alphonso Davies and Jonathan David, and say, ‘OK, there’s a market here that needs to be invested in.'”
Regardless of what happens this winter, Hardman is already doing wonders for that market, his players, and Canada at large.
https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/19910300/john-herdmanworld-cup-canada-england/ Meet the unknown British boss who went from Council Flats to the World Cup in Canada…via Women’s Football in New Zealand