What the coaches say: Group B press conference
Sandrine Soubeyrand, France
Preparations have gone well – a week’s training camp and then travelling to Iceland – so the girls are ready to go. The conditions are good, as are the training facilities, and it’s a bit cooler than France but that’s not a problem. I’d say we have the same chance as anyone else, in a tough group. Performances and results are both important: the aim of the players is to play well and if they do that, then normally results will follow. Of course for the youth teams the main goal is to play. We have good technical qualities and also athletic ones – good pace – but we recognise we also need to score more goals than the opposition.
Dave Connell, Republic of Ireland
Our preparations were maybe interrupted by exams, but everyone’s the same. It’s my first time in Iceland and it was a bit like landing on the moon yesterday. However, it’s a beautiful country and we’re very happy with the facilities and with the hotel. We have three very difficult games against three very good teams. We’re delighted to be part of it and hope to spring a few surprises. Performing here is very important for our players as part of their development – we’re looking for them to progress to the WU19s and seniors. But we’re also naturally competitive. We have a never-give-up mentality, always there till the last whistle, making it difficult for people.
Lena Tyriberget, Norway
We face three very tough matches but we have ambitions and want to go to the semi-finals. We’ll have to be at our best to achieve our goals – against three very well-drilled opponents. This tournament is important for us to get championship experience, it’s important for the young players. And if the performances are good then the results will come. It’s important to train the players to compete with the right mentality and a winning spirit for when they get to senior tournaments. We’re definitely good at following our match plan; a good team who want to play for each other and have a fighting spirit. We have a good mentality even when we concede, and we’re well prepared physically.
Monica Di Fonzo, Switzerland
All the teams in the group are quite strong, so we’ll do our best against tough opponents who are aiming for the same goal. For me it’s results that matter, but without performances you cannot get good results. My players have to understand the mentality that’s required to achieve that and learn to deal with the pressure in order to obtain good results. Tactically and technically we are a decent team capable of good attractive attacking play, but we didn’t face the strongest opposition in qualification and since then we’ve had to work on the defensive and offensive aspects. We played two games against boys’ teams in our two training camps and so far, all OK.
Injured and out of tournament: Vanessa Hoti (attack)