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Bernhard keeping Germany on their toes

Three-time winners Germany have a fight on their hands to wrestle back the Under-17 title according to coach Anouschka Bernhard, with all eight finalists of a "very high standard".

Anouschka Bernhard has great respect for Germany's opponents
Anouschka Bernhard has great respect for Germany's opponents ©David Catry

History will count for little when Germany go in search of their fourth UEFA European Women's Under-17 Championship crown, having failed to qualify for the 2012/13 edition.

Those were the underlying sentiments of coach Anouschka Bernhard, who is savouring the prospect of an "intriguing group" containing world champions France, Scotland and Spain. The ambitious 43-year-old also sounded an ominious warning to Germany's Group A rivals, revealing that her team "are in very good shape" heading into the finals in England.

UEFA.com: What is your reaction to the draw? 

Anouschka Bernhard: It's a tough group but all eight teams at the tournament are of a high standard. If you want to win a European Championship then you have to beat the best teams. It's an intriguing group with lots of interesting games. 

UEFA.com: Who do you see as your main rivals?

Bernhard: Every team at this tournament possesses the talent to go all the way. 

UEFA.com: What challenges do the teams in your group pose?

Bernhard: Each team is unique and has their own qualities. We take each game as it comes and prepare accordingly. We need learn as much as possible about our opponents in the build up to the tournament, so that we go into each match with a good understanding of them.

UEFA.com: What are your ambitions for the tournament?

Bernhard: Everone has the same goal – to win the title or finish third for a place at the World Cup. Nobody is underestimating how tough it will be to attain this goal, though.

UEFA.com: Is your team in good shape?

Bernhard: Yes, we are in very good shape at the moment, but anything can happen in the run-up to a tournament. I think we share the same worries as every other nation. We don't really know what to expect, but at the moment everything is looking good.