Germany are traditionally the strongest team in Europe – if not the world – in the realm of women's football but they have not had things all their own way in the UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship in recent years. Winners in 2002, 2006 and 2007, adding to two U18 titles, success has evaded Germany in recent years.
They lost out in the semi-finals in 2008 and 2010, and in between they suffered the relative indignity of group-stage elimination. However, as assistant coach Bettina Wiegmann stresses, Germany's "main goal is to produce players for the senior team," adding the caveat: "But if there is a chance of a title we wouldn't say no."
Ramona Petzelberger (midfielder, SC 07 Bad Neuenahr), Eunice Beckmann (midfielder, Bayer 04 Leverkusen), Carolin Simon (defender, Hamburger SV), Leonie Maier (defender, SC 07 Bad Neuenahr)
Coach: Maren Meinert
Date of Birth: 5 August 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, 2004/05, led the side to the UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship semi-finals.
She claimed back-to-back titles in 2006 and 2007 but 12 months later experienced relative disappointment when her charges were knocked out in the semi-finals and fell short again at the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup in Chile at the end of the year, finishing third. Further frustration followed in 2009 and 2010, and after missing qualifying as she was on maternity leave, she returns to the helm for the 2011 campaign.
One of the greatest female players ever, the 36-year-old 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 defeat of Sweden. Meinert won domestic honours with Duisburg prior to a move to Boston, where she was voted the WUSA's Most Valuable Player in 2003.
Meinert had no coaching experience prior to 2005, but finished top of her class when earning the German Football Association's highest coaching licence. She is also a qualified teacher.
UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship best
Winners: 2002, 2006, 2007
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