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Degrange delight at force of destiny

Published: Saturday 5 June 2010, 19.53CET
A picture of "pride and joy", Jean-Michel Degrange told UEFA.com he was confident France could etch their names on the trophy ever since their first training session ten months ago.
by John Atkin
from Skopje

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Published: Saturday 5 June 2010, 19.53CET

Degrange delight at force of destiny

A picture of "pride and joy", Jean-Michel Degrange told UEFA.com he was confident France could etch their names on the trophy ever since their first training session ten months ago.

France coach Jean-Michel Degrange told UEFA.com he was confident his side could etch their names on the trophy for a second time ever since their first training session ten months ago. A picture of "pride and joy", he is already looking to the future, hoping this is merely the beginning, not the end. That sentiment was echoed by England counterpart Mo Marley, who conceded France deserved their 2-1 victory but is already looking to next month's FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup.

I have never told the press this before but I thought this group could win this championship right from the start of the season
Jean-Michel Degrange
We've got no qualms as they deserved to win and it's a good opportunity for those young girls to experience what we've experienced
Mo Marley

Jean-Michel Degrange, France coach
It is a real pleasure to lift that trophy. Last year we were not far away, but we unfortunately lost to Sweden having played a very good match; this year we were able to take the final step. I am very happy for the girls and French women's football. I hope this victory will help us to develop. A title can be a very good boost.

Most of all I feel a lot of pride for myself and a lot of joy for the players, because they were very good against an English team that was not easy to face. They caused a lot of problems, especially at the start because I decided to play with three attackers. At half-time I asked the team to play more compact and reinforced the midfield.

Arriving here we were able to keep 12 out of 18 girls from last year, which is an advantage for the cohesion and the comprehension of our tactics. I have never told the press this before but I thought this group could win this championship right from the start of the season. From the first training [session] in August 2009, we fixed ourselves this objective to become European champions – and here we are.

Mo Marley, England manager
We know how France are feeling – it will be a great moment for them, a great occasion. We've got no qualms as they deserved to win and it's a good opportunity for those young girls to experience what we've experienced. We've had highs and lows; hopefully from now on we have more highs than lows.

[Rebecca Spencer and Lucia Bronze] were crucial to our victory last year. We're not going to stop how we play [passing right from the back]. It's about the players recognising that in a final you don't get away with those [errors] − when you're up against technically gifted players like the French you get punished. That's exactly what happened, but I'm sure my players will learn from that and be better and stronger for the future.

In ten days' time we start preparations for the World Cup, so it's a lesson learned – positive and negative. On any other day you'd be delighted to get to the final, delighted with the silver medal, but for us it doesn't feel as good as last year when it was gold. We've got to three finals in the past four years which proves we're a top quality side, but from tomorrow we move on, preparing for the World Cup. We've always bounced back after a setback.

Last updated: 12/11/12 17.45CET

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