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Turkey team guide

Published: Sunday 1 April 2012, 16.23CET
Coach Taygun Erdem is looking forward to "showcasing women's football in Turkey" as the hosts make their finals debut, having previously gone no further than the second qualifying round twice.
Turkey team guide
Midfielder Leyla Güngör (L) in action against Switzerland earlier this year ©Keystone
Published: Sunday 1 April 2012, 16.23CET

Turkey team guide

Coach Taygun Erdem is looking forward to "showcasing women's football in Turkey" as the hosts make their finals debut, having previously gone no further than the second qualifying round twice.

The hosts are making their UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship finals debut, having broken new ground in reaching the second qualifying round in 2009 and 2011.

Locally-trained players form the backbone of Taygun Erdem's side, such as highly-rated 15-year-old playmaker Ebru Topçu. The squad also boasts more seasoned Turkish talents who have had a chance to develop in countries with a stronger grounding in women's football, like Germany, Sweden, Austria and the United States.

Turkey have honed their skills in a series of friendly fixtures in the run-up to the final tournament, culminating in a third-placed finish at March's Kuban Spring Tournament in Russia. Reduced to ten players for their final game, a third-placed play-off, they demonstrated their spirit by beating Romania 3-0. They defeated Slovakia, China and Ukraine to reach the last four before losing to China on penalties.

"The finals will not just be a competition for our national team but a showcase for women's football in Turkey," said Erdem. "Our job will be really hard against the established teams, but the players hope they can win the tournament and I share that belief. We are not afraid of anyone."

Key players
Gökçem Can (goalkeeper, Karadeniz Ereğlispor), Selda Akgöz (goalkeeper, Fomget Gençlik ve Spor), Leyla Güngör (midfielder, Limhamn Bunkeflo 2007), Ebru Topçu (midfielder, Karadeniz Ereğlispor), Filiz İşikırık (forward, Lüleburgaz 39)

Coach: Taygun Erdem
Date of Birth: 02/10/1967
Playing career: Bursaspor, Fenerbahçe SK, Karşıyaka, Elazığspor, Kuşadasıspor, Anadolu Hisarı İY, Beykozspor 1908 AŞ, Anadolu Hisarı İY
Coaching career: Sarıyer GK (assistant), Sultanbeyli Belediyespor, THY, İstanbul Büyükşehir Belediyesi GSM, Turkey women's U15, U17, U19

A member of Fenerbahçe's title-winning side of 1988/89, Erdem helped provide the solidity at the back that allowed his side to rack up a record-breaking 103 goals that season. A solid right-back and central defender also capable of playing at the base of the midfield, he came through the ranks at Bursaspor and was a part of the squad that won the 1986 Turkish Cup.

Erdem has done grassroots work for the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) since May 2008, and took charge of the U17 and U19 national teams in November 2011.

UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship best
Group stage: 2012

Honours in other UEFA women's competitions
None

Last updated: 17/04/12 19.08CET

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http://www.uefa.com/womensunder19/news/newsid=1785084.html#turkey+team+guide

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