What the coaches say: Group A press conference
Úlfar Hinriksson, Iceland
We were in the finals a few years ago [finishing fourth in 2011] and we intend to do better here. Last time we were out before we had even got started. We are aiming to be in the matches for 80 minutes, in all three matches, and to get a surprise result along the way. We are happy to be at home, playing as hosts – my own home is 5km away. We didn’t have to qualify, we just played some friendlies, so everything is new to us as a squad in this competition. But we have a summer season here in Iceland which means the girls played their last competitive match only a few days ago. We have a few minor niggles, nothing more.
John Griffiths, England
It’s a privilege to be here – we qualified as hosts in 2013 but this time we’ve been through qualifying and the preparations have gone well. Any game at this stage is difficult as it’s the best eight teams. And it’ll get harder as the tournament progresses. The key thing is that it’s a fantastic experience for the players and staff. I want us to absolutely compete in every single game we play, because sometimes in tournaments it’s not necessarily the best team that always wins. We must make sure we’re competing in every moment and keeping in the game. And what’s most important is that the players learn from the experience.
Anouschka Bernhard, Germany
Both groups are the same level and having a final tournament with the eight best teams means no easy games. A lot of nations do great work at youth level and a lot of them can compete for the title. We’re looking forward to some very close games. It’s very important for the girls’ development that the tournament has gone to eight teams, it’s the right way for development and there are only close games during these finals. We’ll need to keep them in good shape mentally between games. Because especially for our WU17s, there’s a bit of pressure due to our huge [winning] tradition which can either inspire or paralyse; so this is another challenge.
Injured and out of tournament: Giovanna Hoffmann, Anja Ströfer (both midfield)
Pedro López, Spain
The players and technical staff are happy to be here because it means we’re at the top of our generation. We just want to continue to be happy after every matchday. The best eight teams are here in terms of results and history. Our group is like a big mountain – we have a great objective and the view from the top, and the climb itself, will be better for the size of the task. We have some very young players in their first final round, with others it’s their second or third. I want them to learn from different situations and to always enjoy the game and keep smiling. Now they are happy, tomorrow evening I don’t know because if you don’t have a good result on the pitch, it’s not a nice experience.