It is a big year for women’s football in Sweden with UEFA's flagship international tournament taking place from 10 July and ahead of UEFA Women's EURO 2013 their junior squad are hoping to give it a further boost with victory in the UEFA European Women’s Under-17 Championship.
Sweden caused a minor upset in their semi-final, overcoming two-time champions Spain to earn a final against Poland on Friday in Nyon. Forward Anna Oskarsson is hoping her team can show an example which the senior side can follow next month.
"For sure it would be fun to win here so we can show the way for the Swedish women's team as well," she told UEFA.com. "This is something i've dreamt about since I was a little girl, playing in a EURO final and to be able to do it already at the age of 17, that is just a bonus. A lot is going on in Sweden right now, with UEFA Women's EURO coming up, so I think it is a very positive thing for Swedish women’s football.
"Lotta Schelin has always been one of my role models, ever since I was a little girl, as well as many other players in the women's team. Mainly because that is what you are aiming at, to one day perhaps be able to play in the main women’s team. You can look a lot at what is needed, what you need to improve, what they have that you yourself need to be better at. So it is definitely a great source of inspiration."
Oskarsson was an influential player for Sweden in qualification for the final tournament, scoring six times, but she reveals that team-work has been the key to the team's success. "During these two years that we have been playing together we have become an extremely tightly knit group, and we have a very good team solidarity and team spirit," she said.
"So that is probably what has brought us here and taken us all the way that we have come so far. We always work, giving 100% and we never give up, we help each other as a team and everything we do we do together all the time. I think that is what has contributed to us getting this far and is probably our strongest trait."
Now potentially 80 minutes away from being part of a maiden Swedish success at U17 level, Oskarsson is making the most of her Nyon experience: "When I walked off the pitch I already felt like a better football player than when I went on.
"And that was just after 80 minutes, so an entire championship like this gives you so very much, not only the football side but also the things outside of that too. Both as a football player and as a human being and an individual you really develop a lot. So I believe it will have a large impact on my future football career and on the rest of my life."
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