Denmark captain Mie Jans declared that it was good to be back after Søren Randa-Boldt's side kicked off their 2013 UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship campaign with a hard-fought victory over hosts Wales.
"I'm very happy with that," the 19-year-old told UEFA.com. "It was a tough game because Wales are very good, very compact and physical. It was a good performance to start with and I'm very happy that we won. We had no idea Wales were so good, but we always prepare for anything."
To that end, Jans said Denmark had assessed Wales' U17 and U19 sides in the lead up to the Group A opener. "It was so important to win – we obviously aim to get three points every game but as we are aiming for the semi-finals it was especially important to start with a win."
For much of the 90 minutes there was little to choose between the Group A rivals at Llanelli's Parc y Scarlets as rugged defending held sway. Jans played a leading role in that, sitting in front of the back four with Julie Jensen and soaking up all that Wales threw at them; her defenders seldom had cause for concern.
The BSF midfielder was delighted to end with "a big zero goals against us", as she was with Nikoline Frandsen's 61st-minute goal from a well-worked set piece – if not directly from the training ground. Yet what perhaps pleased her most was the way Denmark got through the game, biding their time, never panicking.
The calm is, she says, the product of experience: while Wales were making their competition debut, Jans could draw on know-how picked up in Denmark's march to the semi-finals in 2012. "Being in Turkey taught me that you have a lot of feelings – it was a big thing to be in the finals of the European Championship – but it's important to keep your feet on the ground.
"This time we can relax a bit more, get excited but not overly so. There are eight of us who were at the finals last year. A lot of the younger players were at the  U17 tournament so they know what it is about, too, but this is a little bit bigger. It's nice to be back." Beat France on Thursday and Denmark will be back for a bit longer.
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