For the first time in the 11-year history of the UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship, Germany failed to qualify for a final tournament last summer but their form in 2013 suggests they are back with a vengeance.
Given a bye through the first qualifying round, Maren Meinert's charges won three out of three in the second stage and no other team scored more than their 16 goals or conceded fewer than their one. "We desperately wanted to go to the finals and now we have done that," said the coach. "I enjoy watching this team attack and the new-look defence is working very well already. We have lots of potential and can go far at the finals."
A fifth women's U19 title could be on the cards, with friendly victories over Sweden (4-0), the United States (3-0) and Norway (1-0) underlining the squad's potential. "We can be very pleased with current developments. The results mirror our current shape quite well," Meinert added. "We started with a very specific idea of what the squad had to look like. The playing philosophy and what we want to teach the players does not differ between age groups."
Sarah Romert (defender, FC Bayern München), Theresa Panfil (midfielder, Bayer 04 Leverkusen), Linda Dallmann (forward, SG Essen-Schönebeck), Lina Magull (midfielder, VfL Wolfsburg).
Coach: Maren Meinert
Date of birth: 05/08/1973
Playing career: FC Rumeln-Kaldenhausen, FFC Brauweiler Pulheim, FCR 2001 Duisburg, Boston Breakers, Germany
Coaching career: Germany women's U19s
Meinert stepped up from her role of assistant when Silvia Neid was appointed coach of Germany's all-conquering senior team and, in her first season of 2004/05, led the side to the WU19 semi-finals.
She claimed back-to-back titles in 2006 and 2007 but 12 months later experienced relative disappointment as her charges were knocked out in the semi-finals and fell short again at the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup later that year, finishing third. Further frustration followed in 2009 and 2010 (though she was on maternity leave for the latter finals), yet she guided Germany to the title again in 2011.
One of the greatest female players ever, Meinert scored 33 goals in 92 internationals and won three UEFA European Women's Championships and the 2003 FIFA Women's World Cup – scoring the equaliser in the 2-1 final triumph over Sweden. Meinert lifted domestic honours with Duisburg prior to a move to Boston, where she was voted the WUSA's Most Valuable Player in 2003.
Though Meinert had no coaching experience before 2005, she finished top of her class when earning the German Football Association's (DFB) highest coaching licence. She is also a qualified teacher.
UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship record
2011/12: did not qualify
2008/09: group stage
2002/03: group stage
Honours in other UEFA women's competitions
UEFA European Women's Championship
Winners: 1989, 1991, 1995, 1997, 2001, 2005, 2009
UEFA European Women's Under-18 Championship
Winners: 2000, 2001
UEFA European Women's Under-17 Championship
Winners: 2008, 2009, 2012
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