"Of course we are outsiders, the odds are 100-1," is the honest opinion of SV Neulengbach coach Sabine Brand as they prepare to face holders 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam in the UEFA Women's Champions League.
The Austrian champions reached the round of 16 for the second year running with their exciting 3-1 aggregate defeat of PAOK FC – being the only team in the last 32 to overturn a first-leg deficit. But Potsdam, whom they visit for Wednesday's first leg, are a different prospect, their four previous European campaigns yielding three finals and two titles.
"This is a huge team, given their skill and potential, they are the Champions League holders," Brand told UEFA.com. "It is a big challenge, they have super players. A team like Turbine is a great challenge for the girls."
However, Brand has no complaints about receiving such a difficult draw. "
You only get tough opponents in the best 16 teams in Europe," she said. "You have to be really lucky to get opponents you stand a real chance against. We have reached a certain level where we can make the top 16. But then there are those other teams that are in a league of their own. We have reached a certain border we cannot cross."
Even so, Brand believes Austrian women's football is taking strides. "Our players are technically strong, they are homogenous, a real unit," the coach said. "But we are lacking that certain something for the next level.
"We are not yet used to the pace. If you are not really challenged in the league, it is difficult. If we only give it 60 or 70% in the league, we still win. Our girls have been on top at national level for the past eight years. We have won everything there is to win in Austria."
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