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OU on the BBC: The Managers - Football Coach Pia Sundhage

Updated Friday, 16th May 2014

On this week's programme, football coach Pia Sundhage talks about her extraordinary career and her coaching philosophy.

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Pia Sundhage Creative commons image Icon Anders Henrikson under CC-BY 2.0 licence under Creative-Commons license  The second episode of The Managers focuses on women's football coach Pia Sundhage.

There was one moment when Pia Sundhage first came across a football in the small rural town she lived in in Northern Sweden. Instead of catching the ball, as had been intended, she just wanted to kick it, and from that moment a long career in football was born.

Everyday meant football to Pia, she played with the boys at school, after school, but when it came to joining the boys team, life wasn’t so simple. The manager of the local team told Pia that she was going to have to change her name from Pia to a boy’s name: Pelle.

This didn’t put Pia, or Pelle, off and she went on to turn professional in Sweden, play nearly 150 times for her country, scoring 71 goals.

It is as a coach that Pia Sundhage has made most headlines though, and in the second of our series of The Managers, Jane Garvey meets Pia to talk about her coaching career which has led to her to her biggest successes.

The Managers on BBC World Service

You can listen to The Managers on BBC World Service on Saturday 17th May 2014 at 14:06 GMT, and on Sunday 18th May 2014 at 11:06 GMT. For further details of broadcasts of this programme on BBC World Service, please visit





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