Turkey coach Fethi Demircan was proud of his side on their comeback to the senior female game as they only missed out on progress from UEFA WOMEN'S EURO 2009™ preliminary round Group 1 by the narrowest of margins.
With only one side to qualify for the main qualifying draw, mini-tournament hosts Turkey began by defeating Northern Ireland 1-0. However, despite taking the lead against Croatia, Turkey fell to a 2-1 reverse. That meant that even though Turkey ended with a crushing 9-0 win against Georgia, Northern Ireland snatched first place in a three-way tie-breaker as they overcame Croatia 5-2. Still, it was a creditable performance for Turkey who had been out of competitive women’s action since May 2000. Demircan said: “We defeated teams who beat us by six or seven goals in the past. I believe that if they are given the opportunity, our young ladies will reach European standards and have very successful games. We are very optimistic about this.”
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He admits that Turkey have catching up to do as they now face two years of friendlies before the next set of FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifiers. “Women’s football is in resurgence nowadays, unfortunately our national side consists of young players who has been playing at amateur level,” Demircan said. “They don’t have a deep-rooted football education. Besides, families don’t take women football seriously. Now a women’s league has been founded. Some clubs take their role seriously and some not. Nevertheless, since I was appointed as coach we have gained some vital away wins against F.Y.R. Macedonia and Bulgaria.”
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