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Preview: Norway v Dutch, Belgium v Scotland

Published: Monday 14 July 2014, 18.05CET
Belgium coach Kristiaan Van Der Haegen says his team "have wings" after beating Germany in qualifying, but all four sides in Group A have plenty of cause for optimism.
by John Atkin
from Lillestrom
Preview: Norway v Dutch, Belgium v Scotland
Group A coaches (left to right): Gareth Evans, Kristiaan Van Der Haegen, André Koolhof, Jarl Torske ©Sportsfile
Published: Monday 14 July 2014, 18.05CET

Preview: Norway v Dutch, Belgium v Scotland

Belgium coach Kristiaan Van Der Haegen says his team "have wings" after beating Germany in qualifying, but all four sides in Group A have plenty of cause for optimism.

Norway's bid to provide out-going coach Jarl Torske with the perfect send-off begins on Tuesday when the UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship hosts take on the Netherlands. Spirits are high, a description that could be applied across the section. When Belgium coach Kristiaan Van Der Haegen, whose team face Scotland, talks of "paradise" and "having wings" he could be talking for anyone.

Norway v Netherlands
The stars are almost aligned for Norway as they bid to claim this title for the first time on home turf, in Torske's tenth and last final tournament. They kick off against the Netherlands, a team they have beaten in two previous finals meetings before reaching the showpiece – where, as with the two other occasions they have contested the decider, they lost.

Jarl Torske, Norway coach
It's great to finish my U19 career on home turf; I'd love to play the final at our national stadium on the 27th. It's going to be hard, though, and I think it's one of the most open tournaments for years. We will have a lot of good support from our home crowds and the players are very much looking forward to that. My daughter and granddaughter will be there tomorrow – the first time my granddaughter sees one of my games. We've prepared well and have real strength going forwards. We're a hardworking bunch and spirits are high.

André Koolhof, Netherlands coach
We have prepared well and I have a lot of faith in my team going into the competition – it's coming together quite nicely. It will be interesting taking on the hosts in the first game. Norway are a strong team, supported by a home crowd. We beat them [2-1 in March] at La Manga and they will have a bit of pressure on their shoulders so we have a good chance. We are going for gold. We want to play well and we want to win. Win the games and we win this trophy.

Belgium v Scotland
Neither team has ever won a finals game in 15 attempts between them, but hopes are high after successful qualification campaigns. Scotland were top scorers en route to Norway while Belgium took the prized scalp of Germany on the final day of qualifying.

Kristiaan Van Der Haegen, Belgium coach
Over the past few days we've been preparing the girls to step up and they are very confident, saying: "Coach, don't worry. When we need to be ready we will be ready." It's up to them now. The Germany win is a point of reference for the players: we have beaten Germany so we are justified in feeling confident. It will be difficult – there are no weak teams at this level – but the Germany win has given the players wings. That winner – I felt like I was in paradise. This is a step up, though, like going from domestic league to the Champions League.

Gareth Evans, Scotland coach
We're looking forward to it. It's four years since Scotland last qualified so it's exciting stuff. We have never won a game in these finals – losing eight and drawing one – so there's no pressure on the girls. We can just give it our best shot. I've been in this job less than a year. It's different, it's enjoyable and it's a great group of girls I'm working with – they've really kicked on.

Last updated: 14/07/14 18.17CET

http://www.uefa.com/womensunder19/news/newsid=2123698.html#preview+norway+dutch+belgium+scotland

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