Interviews: Coaches reactions to UEFA Women’s EURO 2017 final tournament draw

Interviews: Coaches reactions to UEFA Women’s EURO 2017 final tournament draw

The UEFA Women’s EURO 2017 final tournament draw took place today and excitement is already rising as we count down the days to these thrilling fixtures – but what do the head coaches think of the draw?

UEFA interviewed the head coaches of the participating nations following today’s draw to get their view on the upcoming tournament and the opponents they will face (See the EURO 2017 fixtures). You can read some of their reactions below.

Pia Sundhage (Sweden):

Pia Sundhage

On facing Germany in their opening match…

“Well, we’ve played against them a couple of times, we’ve lost a couple of times, and when I look at the draw and we get the chance to play against Germany again, we’ll just have to enjoy it and do our very best. We’re getting closer to winning against Germany, and hopefully we’ll take that chance next year.”

Thoughts on Group B…

“Yes, it will be a tough group. But I think all four groups are pretty tough, to be honest. And you know, I like the fact that there are three different games for us. All three teams play very differently, so I appreciate that. And we’ll start off with Germany, the very best team in the world.”

Steffi Jones (Germany):

Meeting Sweden, again…

“Yes, at least I thought… We were aware which opponents we could face in the group when we saw the pots. Basically we know Sweden well. It’s a classic, if you can put it like that, but it’s coming way too early. Nevertheless, ultimately it’s a good opener for us because we’ll have to give it our all right from the start. We won’t be allowed to start playing conservatively, and we’ll have to put in everything we have straight away. That’s not a bad thing.”

Olivier Echouafni (France):

On looking forward to the tournament, the first as French WNT coach…

“It is both a wonderful discovery and a source of great pride to be here and represent the French team. We know that France are one of the best nations in the world and we have to show it on the pitch. We have to set our minds on the competition right from the start. We know the competition will be really tough, the level is high and big nations are taking part, but if we want to reach the top, we have to beat them.”

On the expectations around the French team…

“The expectations around France have been there for many years, whether it’s during a World Cup, the last EURO or the Olympic Games. I don’t think it should add too much pressure. We have to look forward and improve our weaknesses from the last tournament. We have to find a way to succeed, remain humble and show ambition in these group games.”

Ives Serneels (Belgium):

First thoughts on draw…

“It’s a very nice result, I think. We have a match against the Netherlands, our neighbours, so… And I think also for our supporters, we play one in Breda, one in Tilburg, which is not so far from Belgium. So yes, I think we must be happy.”

Thoughts on opponents Norway and Denmark…

“Yes, I think it’s the third time we’ve had Norway, so we know each other. And Denmark is the same. I think Norway, in the last European Championship they made it to the final and could maybe have won, so they’re always a very good team. Playing against the Netherlands it’s nice. And then Denmark, they’re also a team who are always in the final tournament, and they’ve done very well.”

What it means to be competing at this tournament…

“We are happy and proud with the result that the players achieved in the last year. They deserve it. So now it’s everybody… from tomorrow we have to start to work to have a nice tournament.”

Francisco Neto (Portugal):

Francisco Neto

Is it a good draw…

“Yes, it’s difficult, but we knew that every group would be very difficult. We start with Spain, we know Spain very well, we played against them in the qualifiers. I think it’ll be a very good game, and we’ll try to do our best”

On opponents England and Scotland…

“They’re two strong teams, very tough, very physical, and we expect a lot of difficulties. But we have our strengths too, and even though it’s our first time, we’ll try to do our best in this tournament.”

Martina Voss-Tecklenburg (Switzerland):

Martina Voss-Tecklenburg

First reaction on this draw…

“It’s a thrilling group, and made up of very different teams. France are always among the favourites, but they’ve never won a trophy. But it’s great for us to be facing a neighbouring country. Then Iceland gave a great impression in the qualifiers, they took inspiration from the men’s team. Finally, Austria are newcomers in this competition, just like us. So it’s a fascinating group with a lot of players from the Bundesliga. I think it’s interesting, and I’m very happy.”

Will experience gained in Canada 2015 help you in this competition…

“The experience from the World Cup will help us in our preparations for the European Championship, it will help us forge a strong mentality, adapt to the conditions and bring a lot of fans to the stadium. I think we’ve grown more mature, and we were in pot two despite being newcomers. We have to confirm that, we have targets and we’ll try to reach the quarter-final – but we’ll have to work hard. We’re happy to be playing, and I’ll get goosebumps.”

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