Relationship with a player: a Quebec coach leaves her post

Relationship with a player: a coach from Quebec leaves her position


Former Quebec soccer player Rhian Wilkinson, who became a head coach after her career on the lawn, resigned from her position with the Portland Thorns on Friday after an intimate relationship between her and one of her players has been unveiled. 

The 40-year-old woman also wrote a letter, which she posted on her social networks, to tell the whole situation.

We also learn that it was at the request of her players that she preferred to resign.

Wilkinson first explains that his “friendship turned into a relationship with more complex emotions” towards the player in question, who has not been named. “In mid-October, the player shared her feelings with me, to which I responded in the same way.”

The relationship did not go beyond this sharing of feelings, however, the two women stopping to see each other outside of team activities. Wilkinson even reported herself to human resources. The United States Women's Soccer League (NWSL), as well as the Players' Association, opened an investigation, which however determined that no rules had been broken.

“After a thorough investigation during our playoff run, which included a review of all communications between the player and me, as well as interviews with each of us, I have been cleared of any blame in this matter. Wilkinson added.

“Once the investigation was complete, I informed all staff of what had happened, but the players found out before I could. inform. I can understand that the players feel betrayed and that they have to manage another story that is not related to soccer.

Before occupying various coaching positions, after her retirement as a player in 2017, Wilkinson had amassed 181 appearances with the Canadian national team, including winning bronze medals at the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games. She had just concluded her first campaign as head coach of the Thorns, the helping win the NWSL playoffs.