Denmark invest hopes in Bonde

Peter Bonde will coach Denmark in England this summer following the surprise resignation of Poul Højmose.

By Peter Bruun

Peter Bonde will coach Denmark at this summer's UEFA European Women's Championship following today's surprise resignation of Poul Højmose.

Five years
Højmose took charge of the national team in 1999 and his five-year tenure brought increasing success and qualification to England, where Denmark are expected to impress. However, a disappointing showing at the recent Algarve Cup, where the Danes finished sixth, led the coach to question his future.

'Fresh inspiration'
"The results in the Algarve Cup were not the best and with only three months until EURO I do not believe I can turn things round in time," said Højmose, who planned to retire as coach after the finals. "It is best for the team to get fresh inspiration through a new coach."

Confidence sapped
Having left a powerful Norway side in their wake in qualifying for the European Championship, Denmark's fine form continued in December 2004 when they drew with and then beat Olympic champions, the United States, in America. However, defeats by France, the US and the Norwegians in Portugal sapped confidence.

Bonde in
At a meeting today, the Danish Football Association accepted Højmose's resignation and immediately installed Bonde as his replacement. The 47-year-old coach has a solid background in playing and coaching, worked as an assistant to Morten Olsen at UEFA EURO 2004™ and is currently still involved with Denmark's men's national side.

'Talented squad'
"I have been wanting to get back to a job as active coach, and therefore it was obvious for me to go for the job as coach of the female national team," said Bonde. "At the moment we have the most talented female squad in many years. Furthermore, the FA are investing a nice sum of money in the whole female sector, and have great expectations in the female national team - that gives a sound foundation."

Final preparations
Denmark visit Italy on 13 April and then tackle Switzerland, Sweden and Canada before getting their final tournament campaign under way against the Swedes on Sunday 5 June.