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Italy look forward as Austria look back with pride

Enrico Sbardella was glad for the workout his Italy team got from an Austria side who, despite winning in Telford, suffered an emotional exit from the Women's U17 finals.

Italy look forward as Austria look back with pride
Italy look forward as Austria look back with pride ©UEFA.com

Enrico Sbardella, Italy coach
Most of the girls had their minds on the semi-finals. We rotated the team to avoid injuries and we're satisfied. It was a good test for us ahead of the last four. At this stage, every opponent is tough – Spain, Germany – we had no preference. When you get this far it's important to have the right levels of energy, both in your legs and in your mind. We all know in football that each game has a story of its own. We will start as underdogs against the great Germany, but we're going to give it our best shot.

We'll prepare like we've prepared for our other games against Portugal and England. Today we'll relax and enjoy this historic achievement. If we manage to reach the final, then we will have realised a a dream, and dreaming doesn't cost anything. The most satisfying thing was qualifying before our final group game because it allowed us to conserve our energy.

Dominik Thalhammer, Austria coach
Everyone is very proud of what we have achieved over the past few months and years in Austrian football. We're proud to have competed at these European Championships, and played really well. In the end, we were very close to making the semi-finals and missing out is our only regret. The England game was the key one for us and maybe we deserved more.

The disappointment prevails to begin with, but then we've also got to be aware of what has happened here and how incredibly well these players have done over the past few weeks and months. We've had the opportunity to gain experience at a top level.

It obviously would have been an even greater experience had we been able to go further, but my team has taken huge strides during the course of this tournament – from the Portugal game, to the England game and now to this one. The development of the players is the priority and they're going to be able to take a lot out of this for their futures. I hope Austria can feature in European Championships far more frequently and produce some really good players who can step up to the senior side.