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Netherlands goalkeeper Daphne van Domselaar on being thrust into the limelight at Women's EURO 2022 – interview

"When the moment arrived it all went incredibly quickly," the 22-year-old tells UEFA.com as she talks through her sudden elevation into the holders' first-team line-up.

 Daphne van Domselaar had an excellent game as the Netherlands held Sweden in Sheffield
Daphne van Domselaar had an excellent game as the Netherlands held Sweden in Sheffield DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Forced into the fray after Netherlands captain Sari van Veenendaal was injured in the first half of the holders' UEFA Women's EURO 2022 opener against Sweden, Daphne van Domselaar showed no fear as she made only her second senior international appearance.

The 22-year-old now looks likely to be first-choice goalkeeper for the remainder of the tournament, but as UEFA.com discovers, the Twente custodian still has her feet firmly on the ground.

Netherlands vs Portugal preview
Daphne van Domselaar comes on for Sari van Veenendaal
Daphne van Domselaar comes on for Sari van VeenendaalUEFA via Getty Images

As a substitute goalkeeper you don't really expect to play, do you? 

No. I started the tournament as back-up keeper. On Saturday, before the match, it was my job to help Sari [van Veenendaal] get ready for the game and feel good. I also warmed up, which in this case was just as well. When the match started, I was just enjoying the fact that I was there, in the stadium. I was on the edge of my seat.

And then, suddenly, everything changed.

Yes. Sari got injured and couldn't continue. It felt like I was playing within seconds. I was obviously prepared for what might come, but when the moment arrived it all went incredibly quickly. I didn't even have time to get nervous. Before I knew it, I was on the pitch at the European Championship.

And fairly soon afterwards, you went 1-0 behind. What were you thinking then? 

When I got on, it felt like the priority was to survive until half-time. A lot had happened, including Aniek [Nouwen]'s injury. So it was really disappointing when Sweden took the lead. But I just picked up the ball as fast as I could and I was, like, 'Come on girls, let's do this! It's in our own hands. Let's make it to half-time, and then we'll figure out a plan to get back in the game.'

Women's EURO 2022 team-mates: Netherlands

Which obviously worked, partly because of some very important saves you made.

I'm happy I could be of any importance. It felt really good, and the girls gave me so much strength to do so.

Your name is all over social media, and you must have received loads of messages from friends and acquaintances. You're in the spotlight!

Looks like it! It was really nice to get all those messages. It makes me feel good, and I'll definitely keep feeling that way until the next match. But, before you know it, I'll just be the normal Daphne again, nothing crazy.

And now Sari has returned home, you will probably be first-choice keeper for the rest of the tournament. How does that make you feel? 

It feels really sudden, but I have great players surrounding me and they give me a lot of faith. You just have to be ready for your moment. It was just like when Marisa Olislagers came on against Sweden [to replace Nouwen]. She did an excellent job. We trust in each other and help each other out.

Women's EURO 2017 final: Netherlands 4-2 Denmark

Are you now involved in tactical discussions you weren't involved in before? 

No. With our team, everyone is involved in everything, because you never know what's going to happen. So, in that respect, not a lot has changed. We'll just do the same as a team as we would have done anyway for the match against Portugal.

There's a great photo of you sitting in the stands at the 2017 Women's EURO final as a fan. Now you're actually playing. Do you have to pinch yourself that you're not dreaming?

I really had goosebumps when we equalised against Sweden. That definitely was the moment I realised where I was and what was happening. It was fantastic!

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