The latest Germany player to rise from the U19s to senior set-up, Luisa Wensing is confident her former team-mates can negotiate the second qualifying round without her.
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Luisa Wensing is confident that Germany will qualify for the UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship finals in Turkey, even if she will not feature in the second qualifying round herself.
"I didn't expect it at all," she told UEFA.com of the moment she learned of the surprise senior call-up that changed her plans, at least until injury struck. "I was already completely focused on the Under-19s and was in contact with my team-mates."
It was a text message from FC Bayern München forward Lena Lotzen, Wensing's international room-mate since the U16s, which brought her the good news, though unfortunately a thigh muscle tear in Tuesday's Birgit Prinz testimonial subsequently ruled her out of Germany's crucial UEFA Women's EURO 2013 qualifiers against Spain and Switzerland.
So while Wensing's U19 colleagues take part in the mini-tournament in Sweden, the FCR 2001 Duisburg defender will be cheering them on from afar and is confident they will seal their place at this summer's finals in Turkey without her. "We have to beat Poland and Northern Ireland, though the quality of these sides is difficult to judge as I have never played them before," Wensing said. "Sweden will be the biggest test, but I hope the girls will be successful."
The 19-year-old, who will join ambitious VfL Wolfsburg at the end of the season, holds fond memories of winning the U19 title last year in Italy, when her side overwhelmed Norway 8-1 in the final. "We led 1-0 at half-time; I had scored a spectacular goal with a diving header," she recalled. "Nobody predicted what would happen in the second half, when it seemed every shot on goal went in. I will never forget the game and I hope the feeling of playing in such tournaments lasts forever."
Wensing says the pressure is huge in the second qualifying round, though. "Only the group winners are assured of advancing so mistakes are not allowed; even a draw can make things difficult as it means you have to win the other two games. It is important to start with a win to gain more confidence." That could spell danger for Poland, Germany's first Group 2 opponents on Saturday.