As her squad prepare to face England in Sunday's UEFA WOMEN'S EURO 2009™ semi-final, Netherlands coach Vera Pauw has the enthusiastic backing of her men's counterpart Bert van Marwijk.
Van Marwijk, who oversaw Saturday's 3-0 friendly win against Japan in Enschede, was delighted to see Pauw lead the finals debutants to the last four by beating France on penalties on Thursday. That game was watched by a peak audience of 1.2 million on Eurosport in the Netherlands, record Dutch viewing figures for the channel. Tonight national broadcaster NOS will also show the game against England.
"From Enschede I want to congratulate my national-team colleague Vera Pauw and her team for reaching the semi-finals," Van Marwijk said. "A fantastic performance for European debutants. Without wanting to play down the rest of the staff and the players, I would dare suggest that Vera has had a huge role in this. It is a beautiful reward for a long period of hard work and, of course, a huge windfall for women's football in our nation. But as the team said themselves, they are not there yet. On Sunday they play England in the semi-finals and the Oranje have to be ready. I wish them a whole lot of success."
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