In his first season as Germany Under-19 coach, Marcus Sorg – who took over from Christian Ziege last summer – has managed to succeed where several of his predecessors failed, booking the side a finals spot for the first time since they lifted the trophy in 2008. The 48-year-old, who counts Stuttgart Kickers, SSV Ulm 1846 and SC Freiburg among his former clubs, masterminded the elimination of six-time champions Spain in the elite round, and has now turned his attentions to the final tournament.
UEFA.com: What are your thoughts on the draw?
Marcus Sorg: The draw is really not that important, to be honest. All of the teams that have qualified for this tournament are very good and deserve respect. In that regard it is not that important who you play.
UEFA.com: How well do you know your opponents in the group?
Sorg: We have been mainly focusing on ourselves, so we have not been following our opponents intensively. But [before the tournament] we will gather as much information as possible on our rivals and we will prepare ourselves to the best of our abilities.
UEFA.com: Qualification was far from easy; you had to overcome Spain on their own turf. How was that?
Sorg: That was fantastic, of course. We have managed to reach the final tournament for the first time in six years. That is extremely important for us. And to do that in Spain makes it even sweeter.
UEFA.com: This generation of German players is something special. Two years ago in Slovenia the reached the European U17 Championship final against the Netherlands, and lost only after penalty kicks. Can they go one better this time?
Sorg: We certainly hope so. We will invest ourselves as much as we can and we will do everything in our power to go as far as possible.
UEFA.com: Is the core of the team the same as it was two years ago?
Sorg: The core of the group has not changed, but we have to give credit to some other players that have developed greatly in the past couple of years.
UEFA.com: What are your most notable strengths?
Sorg: Well, like all German teams, we put great emphasis on discipline and organisation. Of course we also have players with exceptional quality, especially in attack.
UEFA.com: What are your goals in this tournament?
Sorg: When one plays in an European Championship, one always wants to go as far as possible. Of course we'd like to win, but so does every other team. We want to play quality football at the highest level, and I think that is also what is expected of us.
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