John Herdman has said that he ought to have resigned as coach of the Canadian national team before the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

In March of 2022, Herdman led Canada to their first World Cup qualification in 36 years. However, he experienced a personal tragedy about which few knew. The Canadian soccer coach does not seem to have had a picnic.

With his outstanding contribution to Canada’s Olympic success, Herdman has been a boon to the country’s soccer scene. He has propelled the men’s and women’s teams to unprecedented heights. Soccer in the North American country will never be the same thanks to Herdman.

Yet, despite being a crucial figure in his own right, has had his fair share of problems on his path. The 48-year-old recently discussed the difficulties of coaching at the top level in a podcast, where he opened up about his troubles.

What did Herdman say about his personal struggles?

Before the 2022 World Cup, the famous coach was already vulnerable due to the death of a close relative—an additional burden. A devastating turn occurred in Herdman’s life last May when his sister Nicola took her own life.

Herdman said told POV Podcast that he should have resigned from his coaching role sooner and shared an honest moment about his issues. He felt he could not help his sister as much as he would have liked, which made him question his ability to go on professionally.

“I had just lost my sister to suicide, and it really, really hurt and it was for a period of time. I’ve never been hurt like that. I’d always been the fixer in my family, and I couldn’t fix it. So, coming out with World Cup qualification, it was like the highest high, then down to the worst experience that I had in my life.

“I had a decision to make in June [2022] and I went against my instinct … I shouldn’t have went. She’d reached out for help when I was at the Gold Cup [in 2021]. And I didn’t help in the way I could have.”

How did situation affect Herdman?

Preparation for Canada’s first World Cup since 1986 was fraught with difficulties, on top of Herdman’s personal problems. In June 2022, the Reds postponed a friendly match against Iran. It was in response to calls from the relatives of Canadians killed in an Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps-shot down Ukrainian aircraft in 2020.

In its substitute, the federation scheduled a game against Panama. That match, too, was postponed a few hours before the start because of a contract disagreement between the players and Canada Soccer.

The organizational problems within the squad made Herdman’s personal loss much worse. Eventually, the current Toronto FC boss stayed with the team despite these obstacles.

“I knew Canada, from an organizational perspective, we weren’t ready. We weren’t ready,” Herdman recalled. “And the players? You know, when you see what happened in June the ‘me’ had already shifted. The ‘we’ had gone to ‘me’.

“I didn’t need it, I felt my job was done, on the qualification. I did not need that World Cup, I don’t know if I wanted it, either.”