Ahead of the Netherlands' meeting with Scotland on Friday, UEFA.com sat down with two of their leading players: new FC Bayern München recruit Vivianne Miedema, 18, and FC Twente midfielder Jill Roord, 17, to talk about their ambitions at the UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship.
UEFA.com: Being here at your first final tournament must be pretty special?
Miedema: Yes, very special but for me the real awareness of being at a European Championship has yet to hit home as I didn't play the first match. That said, the experience is fantastic.
UEFA.com: Vivianne, did you expect to be part of this now that you are a senior international?
Miedema: I'd hoped, and since the start of the season the national coaches have been in contact with each other, speaking about my role and which team they wanted me in. Because I made the A team quite quickly they said that playing in U19 qualifying wasn't an option. It was only a month or so ago that the final decision was made for me to go after consultation between the Dutch coaches, medical staff and also the coach at Bayern. They all agreed that being here would help my development and we thought I could contribute to the team.
UEFA.com: You missed Tuesday's 0-0 opening day draw against Norway with a groin injury – how are you feeling?
Miedema: I picked up a knock the day we travelled to Norway but it is better now and I think I'll be fit.
Roord: That would be good news. This team have had a few problems scoring goals. We create a lot of chances but we don't finish them. We had the same problem in qualification. [Looking at Miedema] And you're capable of solving that!
Miedema: That's why I'm here.
UEFA.com: How did you find the Norway game?
Roord: We've played Norway before and it's always a difficult match. They are strong going forward and their defence is very hard to break down. There are never many goals in it and most of the time we draw against them. Both teams had chances but in the end neither of us deserved to win.
UEFA.com: Would you have settled for a draw beforehand?
Roord: Look, you always play to win but I think highly of the Norwegian team so it's good that we have got them out of the way. In my opinion we are better than the other two teams in the group and if we beat them we are through to the semi-finals.
UEFA.com: Vivianne, what is it like sitting on the bench when your team is struggling to score?
Miedema: Argh. I didn't do much sitting. I walked up and down to keep myself busy. Normally I'm not nervous but on Tuesday I was – I felt powerless. We played well as a team and got a good result, especially when you consider that Norway have a really strong team and they are at home. I think some of the girls were a bit nervous, too.
UEFA.com: Next up is a Scotland side who kicked off with a win against Belgium. What are you expecting?
Roord: We've played them before and we know that they have some good players but their defence has frailties and they allow you opportunities.
If we play at our normal level then we should definitely be able to beat them. But be clear: I am not underestimating Scotland – it is just that technically we are a bit more developed. But you know they will never give up. They will work really hard until the final whistle. We will have to do the same.
UEFA.com: What would you be happy with at these finals?
Roord: We came here to win. It's nice being here but we want to make the most of it. We definitely don't want to go home on Tuesday. There are eight countries here and everybody can beat everybody but we definitely have a chance to win the tournament. That's what we're playing for.
Miedema: We are confident, but we need to be. If you don't believe in yourselves you might as well not bother to play.
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