Coach Silvia Neid has admitted she is prepared to experiment in Germany's final Group B outing against Iceland on Sunday, having comfortably secured first place in the section and a quarter-final berth.
After wins over Norway and France, Neid is ready to use the tournament holders' last remaining group game as an opportunity to involve some of the fringe members of her squad. Nevertheless, the trainer rejects the notion of having an "A and B side" within her 22-strong squad, insisting every player who travelled with her to Finland can contribute to the UEFA WOMEN'S EURO 2005™ winners' title defence.
Two changes are certain, with midfield duo Linda Bresonik and Kim Kulig - both of whom already have Carlsberg Player of the Match awards to their name - both carrying bookings and set to be rested as a precautionary measure. Elsewhere, though, only goalkeeper Nadine Angerer can be sure of starting her third match at the finals. "We will certainly consider making some changes," said Neid. "It wouldn't make sense to risk the players who already have one yellow card, like Kim and Linda. It's a fortunate fact for us that we have many good players. It's a big part of a coach's job to decide who needs a rest and who, perhaps, needs some more game time, so that's what I have to do."
In the Iceland camp, meanwhile, the overwhelming feeling is one of hope for the future of women's football in the Nordic nation as they prepare for the farewell match of the country's first major finals appearance. Despite defeats to France and Norway, Iceland coach Siggi Eyjólfsson believes the experience of competing at UEFA WOMEN'S EURO 2009™ can serve his side well for years to come, and propel the game in Iceland to the next level.
"Obviously, it would be a big boost to our confidence to get a result against Germany, but it will always be extremely difficult when you play against the world and European champions," Eyjólfsson said. "Regardless of Sunday's match, though, the key thing is that the future is bright for Icelandic women's football. We haven't been outplayed by anyone yet and I think both our defeat by France [3-1] and Norway [1-0]were quite even. We know we have some things we need to improve, but I really feel that if we can continue to get young girls playing the game, we have a real chance for the future."
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