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Ambitious Austria hungry for more

Austria coach Dominik Thalhammer revealed the secrets behind his side's unprecedented success ahead of their UEFA European Women's Under-17 Championship debut on Tuesday.

Dominik Thalhammer has big ambitions for Austria
Dominik Thalhammer has big ambitions for Austria ©EXPA

Impeccable in qualifying, Austria are "hungry for more success" ahead of their UEFA European Women's Under-17 Championship bow against Portugal on Tuesday. 

Dominik Thalhammer's side ensured a smooth passage to the finals in England by posting six wins from as many outings, including an eye-catching 1-0 qualifying round defeat of holders Poland. "The girls are very strong mentally despite their age," explained the 43-year-old tactician, who encourages a high-tempo approach that hinges on the virtues of hard work and team spirit. 

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

Dominik Thalhammer: It's the first time we've qualified, which in itself is a great success. Anything is possible in our group and everyone is hungry for more success. 

UEFA.com: What do you make of your opponents? 

Thalhammer: Everyone plays with a very similar formation; 4-2-3-1. We have been paying close attention to our first opponents, Portugal. We've seen them play six times. All the sides are of a similar standard and finishing in the top two is something we can achieve. 

UEFA.com: Can you give us an insight into the team and their character?

Thalhammer: They've been together for just under a year and developed well in the last few months. They played excellently in qualifying, winning six and scoring 31 times, conceding just twice. The girls are very strong mentally despite their age. We like to play at pace and play the ball out from the back. We also like to press the opposition without the ball. I hope we can show these qualities in England. 

UEFA.com: Who are your key players? 

Thalhammer: Our greatest asset is our team spirit. I don't want to single out anyone. 

UEFA.com: How have your team's achievements impacted women's football in Austria? 

Thalhammer: The media attention has grown, helped of course by the team making the play-offs. I hope women's football can continue to grow and prosper in this country. It's certainly becoming more and more popular. 

UEFA.com: Is this a golden generation for Austria?

Thalhammer: I don't think it's a golden generation. We have got this far as a result of the hard work the girls have put in every day. We've got to continue to get more girls involved in football. Other nations have far more players and therefore more options.