It has hardly been the quietest of winters for Tyresö FF with six players arriving and seven departing in the build-up to their season-opening 2-0 Swedish Cup win against Eskilstuna United DFF on Sunday.
One week on and their debut UEFA Women's Champions League campaign resumes with SV Neulengbach the quarter-final first-leg visitors, Tyresö having already eliminated Paris Saint-Germain and Fortuna Hjørring. Spain striker Verónica Boquete spoke to UEFA.com about their long build-up to the tie with the Austrian champions.
UEFA.com: After eliminating Fortuna you had four months without a competitive game; how do you find the long winter break?
Verónica Boquete: It's hard for me because all my life the seasons lasted ten to 11 months, and in Sweden we stop during winter. For teams in the Champions League quarter-finals, it can be a very difficult situation. But we knew this a long time ago. The players here are used to the break and our pre-season was intense, with friendly games and national team camps and tournaments. We are ready, I am ready.
UEFA.com: Tyresö have played four pre-season friendlies and then last weekend a cup match, winning four and drawing one. Is the team's form as good as it looks on paper?
Boquete: In theory these results say yes, but none of that will help us on Sunday. Everything is different in a Champions League game. We know that, we've worked hard to prepare and now it's our moment to play without any doubts. If these doubts do come at any moment, we can rely on the hard work of a lifetime.
UEFA.com: With so many changes in the squad how do you compare Tyresö's strength today with last year?
Boquete: It's hard to say because we lost some really good players who had helped us to get here, and we really miss them! But we have to move forward and support our new team-mates. All of them have come here with the same mentality: to help the team in this Champions League and enjoy it along the way.
UEFA.com: What do you know about Neulengbach?
Boquete: We really don't know that much because the Austrian league is hard to find on television. The coaching staff will give us a more detailed scouting report in the days to come. I am confident we will know a lot about Neulengbach before the game.
UEFA.com: You're facing a big European quarter-final. You were in a similar position in July with Spain, losing to Norway at UEFA Women's EURO 2013. This time your team are big favourites to progress. Compare the difference.
Boquete: There are always benefits of being the underdog, but if I have to choose, I will always choose to be the favourites. This means you are in a good team and with really good players. We have a good chance of winning this title.
UEFA.com: The final will be played in Lisbon, only a few hours' drive from your hometown of Santiago de Compostela. Is that an added motivation for you?
Boquete: Of course. Nothing would make me happier than to see my family and friends – and also my dog Lia – in the stands. My family has never been able to go abroad to watch me play, so they have never seen me play for Tyresö. And if they are able to watch the best game possible, it would be incredible.
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