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Coaches mull over qualifying draw

We hear from the coaches of Germany, Sweden, Spain, the Republic of Ireland, Finland, Portugal, Iceland, Belgium and Switzerland on the qualifying draw.

Silvia Neid poses with the trophy Germany won yet again in 2013
Silvia Neid poses with the trophy Germany won yet again in 2013 ©Getty Images for UEFA

The UEFA Women's EURO 2017 qualifying group stage draw has been made and UEFA.com caught up with some of the coaches in Nyon for their thoughts on their roads to the Netherlands.


Silvia Neid, Germany coach
(In Group 5 with Russia, Hungary, Turkey, Croatia)
You have to take it, as it comes. We are very pleased and looking forward to our tasks. We know most of our opponents already, as we played Russia and Croatia recently [in FIFA Women's World Cup qualifying]. We also know Turkey and for sure Dzsenifer Marozsán will be happy to play Hungary, as she is half Hungarian. If you look at the pots, we expect Russia to be our strongest opponent.

Pia Sundhage, Sweden coach
(In Group 4 with Denmark, Poland, Slovakia, Moldova)
We have got another strong group. Denmark, we just played them – they have a lot of experience, good players. We drew with them last time. Poland, a young team, won the U17 European Championship. It is the second time we have had Poland in our group and it will be very tough.

Ignacio Quereda, Spain coach 
(In Group 2 with Finland, Republic of Ireland, Portugal, Montenegro)
We are very pleased with the draw. it is not an easy group, but we are happy and we will try to qualify for the final tournament. I think that Finland are strong opponents – you can already see it from the ranking. Portugal are a bit more similar to us; the other opponents are at a lower level, but these games have to be played. Ireland are a physical and strong team – we have met them a couple of times – so I expect hard-fought games.

Susan Ronan, Ireland coach
Regardless of who you get, as a third seed it is going to be tough to get one of those first or second places to get qualification for Holland in 2017, but I'm fairly happy with the draw we got. Some interesting teams in there – Portugal are tough fourth seeds, they are stronger than being in that pot, likewise Spain in the first pot and Finland in the second. But I have to think we have a good chance ourselves in the campaign.

Andrée Jeglertz, Finland coach
It is always like this. I don't think you should worry about what team you play against. Of course it is a tough group – Spain are a very good team and I know Ireland and Portugal are good teams we will really struggle with. So I think it will be a really interesting and open group so it is important we perform at our highest level in all games. That's what women's football has developed into – there are no easy games.

There's not pressure but the expectations are that we are good enough to be there in two years. We just need to show we can keep the other teams behind us that we think we are better than and also do something against Spain. The whole group will be satisfied with this and it will be decided in the last games in the end of next September – a long year!

Francisco Neto, Portugal coach
I think it is a very even group. Spain are very strong – they will be at the World Cup. And then for second place I think it will be a very hard fight. So we have some chances, I think.

[On their first senior women's competitive game against Spain]. We were talking before the draw that we finally can fight one against the other. We will see. I think it will be very good for the public. I think both games will have a lot of people in the stadium, and it will be very good for the girls.

Freyr Alexandersson, Iceland coach
(In Group 1 with Scotland, Belarus, Slovenia, FYR Macedonia)
We are pretty happy with our group. Scotland are our toughest opponents – they are getting better year by year. So we are facing tough opponents and we are looking forward to that. We are looking forward to going to Scotland and playing them there on their home soil, and looking forward to having them in the last game in the group in Reykjavik. We are pretty confident – we are preparing well; our goal is to be in Holland 2017, no doubt about that.

Ivan Serneels, Belgium coach
(In Group 7 with England, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Estonia) 
It's tough – it could always be better but it could always be worse. We have a tough team [England] but we must be hopeful and go for second place. We have had some good results in the last year – that is the reason we were in Pot B.

Martina Voss-Tecklenburg, Switzerland coach
(In Group 6 with Italy, Czech Republic, Northern Ireland, Georgia)
We are very pleased with this group. As always you want to avoid the big top teams. Switzerland against Italy, that has a certain tradition and feels like a derby. We wanted to get Italy from Pot A. The Czech Republic are a very strong team and not easy to play. We have to wait and see about Northern Ireland and Georgia. We think a lot is possible in this group and it gives us the opportunity to fight for first place.