Hosts hopeful, Finns in dreamland rounds up the reaction from Manchester, with Finland's Michael Käld chief among the satisfied coaches.

By Pete Sanderson in Manchester

England's quest for 2005 UEFA European Women's Championship glory on home soil begins against first-time qualifiers Finland and continues against former champions Sweden and fast-improving Denmark in Group A. rounds up the reaction from the coaches in that pool, and those in Group B where the holders Germany were drawn alongside old rivals Norway, France and Italy.


Hope Powell, England
I am very pleased with the draw; I think the opening game suits us. Yes, Finland are a bit of an unknown quantity but they impressed in qualifying and will be tough to get past. Certainly we will have to swot up on our Scandinavian football but being the hosts we will try to use the crowd to our advantage. We think we can get through this group if we play at our best.

Michael Käld, Finland
It was a dream to be drawn in England's opening game. This tournament is a huge event for Finnish football. The game in Finland has really developed over the last few years and it will be good to test ourselves against our neighbours Sweden and Denmark.

Poul Højmose, Denmark
We are pleased to play England because we know them very well. They are a blossoming side. Sweden have been one of the best teams in the world over the last few years and they are always dangerous.

Marika Domanski-Lyfors, Sweden
We will meet one of the very best teams in the world in Denmark, who beat the United States recently and were very impressive. England will be tough, they are very organised, but have not played a competitive game for a while, so are a bit of an unknown quantity. You can tell by the hype surrounding the draw that they will have strong backing. There are no real favourites in our group, any team can win it. It will be the toughest EURO tournament ever.


Carolina Morace, Italy
France will probably be the surprise package of this group. Germany have dominated the game for some time and will obviously be favourites but I think the French will be dangerous.

Elisabeth Loisel, France
It's going to be a very tight group with four quality teams. Germany will obviously be the favourites as they are the defending champions and also have a lot of quality in their squad. They have a young, talented midfield. Hopefully we can qualify but it will be tough.

Bjarne Berntsen, Norway
This is a very hard group. Germany are the stand-out sid and will be the team to beat in this tournament. France and Italy are both very skilful sides, technically very strong, but I think if we play to the best of our ability we can advance from this group.

* For the thoughts of Germany coach Tina Theune-Meyer, click here.