Dagmar Damková will add another string to her considerable bow when she takes charge of tonight's UEFA Women's Champions League final between Olympique Lyonnais and 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam in London.
This competition has been kind to the 36-year-old Czech, whose appearance in the second leg of the 2006 final – where Potsdam relinquished their European crown to German rivals 1. FFC Frankfurt – proved the precursor to her refereeing the finals of the 2008 Olympic women's tournament in Beijing and the following year's UEFA European Women's Championship.
After completing a pre-match training session at Craven Cottage, Fulham, along with her Czech refereeing team – assistants Adriana Šecová and Lucie Ratajová, and fourth official Jana Adámková – Damková took time out to speak to UEFA.com.
UEFA.com: How honoured are you to be selected for the final?
Dagmar Damková: It's excellent, just perfect. I will do my best as I always try to and I just hope that it will be a perfect evening for everybody. I'll be happy if people say the refereeing team performed well.
UEFA.com: Of all the games you have handled, which was the most memorable?
Damková: These are all the finals I've had – [UEFA Women's] EURO 2009 in Finland and the Olympic Games. Then there's the final I had in what used to be the UEFA [Women's] Cup. It used to be two legs but that was also perfect. I would also include the final of the men's Czech Cup at home in 2006 between [AC] Sparta Praha and [FC] Baník Ostrava. It's nice to remember all these finals.
UEFA.com: Will it make a difference to have three Czech officials alongside you?
Damková: It's good, definitely, and I'm happy that they're here with me. But when I'm at other tournaments I'm used to going with different assistants from different countries anyway so I don't mind who I work with.
UEFA.com: Has stopping full-time teaching this year made a difference to your refereeing career?
Damková: Yes, I have more time for training, more time to concentrate before games. Now I'm free any time I'm called to work at a match, so being available is good.
UEFA.com: Women's football has become increasingly professional since you entered the FIFA list in 1999. Does that go for the match officials too?
Damková: Yes, definitely. I think it goes hand in hand with football, which is faster now. We have a lot of courses, a lot of seminars. There are lots of teaching materials and we have great lectures – things have moved forward a lot.
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