Guy Ferrier's France will go into the UEFA European Women's U17 Championship with "big ambitions" after being pitted against Germany, Scotland and Spain in Group B.
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France coach Guy Ferrier told UEFA.com his team will approach the UEFA European Women's Under-17 Championship with "big ambitions" after being pitted against Germany, Scotland and Spain in Group B.
The section will nonetheless be decided by slender margins according to the 61-year-old, who is preparing the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup holders for a stern examination of their physical and mental resolve. Les Bleues tackle Spain in their tournament opener on 26 November in Hinckley.
UEFA.com: What is your reaction to the draw?
Guy Ferrier: It is always difficult at this level. It seems we're in the toughest group but there are always surprises. We played Poland and Sweden, the two finalists last year, in the elite round, so we are used to these big matches.
UEFA.com: What are your ambitions for the tournament?
Ferrier: It would be wrong to go into the tournament with limited expectations. We proved during the elite round that we can compete with the best teams and achieve something good. We will give everything to finish in the top three and go from there. There is a chance we won't get out of the group, but we could also go all the way. Anything can happen but we have big ambitions.
UEFA.com: Is there a favourite to win the group?
Ferrier: All the teams are at a similar level, so I expect it to be close. The group will be decided by the finer details. We can't look too far ahead. Regardless of which teams you're drawn against, you need to compete with everyone in order to win the competition. Everyone will be in good shape at the start.
Then, after five games, it will become more difficult. When we played [the elite round] in Northern Ireland last month, it got very difficult for the girls after three games; it will be even tougher after four or five. It's best to play against the big teams early in the tournament, when you are ready physically and mentally.
UEFA.com: How much experience does your team have at this level?
Ferrier: This will be our first major European tournament. We played Spain, England and Turkey in a UEFA competition and also enjoyed a cultural trip in July when faced Quebec's U18 team. We had three matches over there. We then played Italy twice in September, both of which were very interesting games. And of course there was the elite round against Poland, Sweden and Northern Ireland. Our international experience is fairly limited on the whole, however.