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Barrling: Sweden have longed for this

Published: Sunday 15 July 2012, 0.23CET
Sweden coach Calle Barrling pinpointed lessons learned from his side's 2009 final loss as the Blågult won the UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship.
by Nick Aitken & Sam Crompton
from Mardan 1

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Published: Sunday 15 July 2012, 0.23CET

Barrling: Sweden have longed for this

Sweden coach Calle Barrling pinpointed lessons learned from his side's 2009 final loss as the Blågult won the UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship.

Sweden coach Calle Barrling hailed the realisation of a change in his coaching philosophy born in their 2009 final defeat by England after at last ending their wait for a UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship title. The task of "blending technique and defence" achieved its goal in Antalya as Malin Diaz's 108th-minute strike earned a 1-0 victory over a Spain side whose coach, Ángel Vilda is already relishing the prospect of 13 of his squad embarking on the 2013 campaign.

Calle Barrling, Sweden coach
We kept our minds fresh tactically but so did Spain so it was a tight game but because we were very clever defensively. I was a bit worried about the heat but we were very brave even when they pushed us. We had to fight very hard and keeping our minds fresh was the key. When we attacked we didn't go long, we kept possession which we needed in order to rest a bit. Tactically, we were very good.

We were not afraid of Spain. They are so skilful but we also have good technique. They didn't have the better of the chances. We had the best chance of the first half so for the whole tournament we deserved it. Since February we have been beating all the European countries.

When we lost the final in 2009 I decided to pick more technical players and teach them to defend and I think you could see this. All four midfielders could also play as a four. We have learnt to defend. It's a good mix and it's the main reason why this team is so good.

The players have prepared well for every game. They have been out in the sun for a maximum of one hour. They coped with the heat very well. We have longed for this for so long in Sweden. We have a blend of technique and defence. Everything has been perfect.

Ángel Vilda, Spain coach
The difference between the sides was Sweden's finishing. I'd like to congratulate the Swedish side – they're a great team as they proved again today. They've won another game 1-0, like they are used to. I'd also like to congratulate my own players. We've proved to all of Europe that we're a great team too. We could easily have won.

Today the luck went Sweden's way. We had our chances too and hit the woodwork a couple of times but it just didn't go our way – sport is like that. We just have to say congratulations to the champions and take pride in the work we have done.

This squad has a great future and only three of our outfield players will be ineligible for next year's finals. We opted for a very young squad, thinking about this year's tournament and next. The biggest challenge on the horizon will be to qualify for the [2014 FIFA] U-20 Women's World Cup in Canada. Come September we'll start preparing for next year's finals, starting in the first qualifying round.

The players from the '93 generations will move on and try to break into the senior side, whereas the rest will stay and try to build on our run of four finals in four years – I think that is important, a big feat for Spanish football. I'd urge as many Spanish girls as possible to take up the game so one day they will enjoy moments like these, even if we lost today. It's always great to reach a final but only one can win. Forty-seven teams started this competition and only two got this far.

Last updated: 12/11/12 18.09CET

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