Inka Grings is one of Germany’s most successful footballers but she is now making a name for herself in the world of coaching and management.
In what is often seen as a male-dominated arena Grings has proven that gender really is no obstacle when it comes to her second career path.
The 41-year-old former FCR 2001 Duisburg and Chicago Red Stars player currently manages SV Straelen and is the only woman in Germany’s top four divisions to coach a men’s team. She does so impressively too, with SV Straelen sitting atop their league with a lead of nineteen points before Covid-19 paused the season.
Grings is no stranger to success, scoring 64 goals in 96 caps for her national side and winning the UEFA Women's European Championships twice in 2005 and 2009.
Predictably, as FIFA reports, this newfound success in coaching does not faze Grings, nor does it seemingly surprise her that she, as a woman, is succeeding in what is normally viewed as a man's world. Grings says that despite it being "fundamentally shocking" that there are so few women in coaching positions, she believes the decision to hire women must "make sense for both sides".
"It’s crazy that people don’t think outside the box and ask themselves what a woman can bring – regardless of the role. After all, women and men work together harmoniously and extremely effectively in wider society. Everyone thinks and acts differently and that ultimately brings success.
"Why can’t the same apply to football?" Grings told FIFA.
"I’ve constantly searched for – and found – my path. It’s where I always wanted to go. I feel that I’m strong enough and ready enough. I’ve experienced everything in football, more than almost anyone else in a top job. You just have to start by demonstrating that and proving yourself."
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