Record breaking Worm turns to Norway

Siri Worm got a black eye when she made her Netherlands U19 debut and, as she prepares to win a record 32nd cap, she is determined not to suffer another when her side face Norway.

Netherlands captain Siri Worm in Cervia
©Sportsfile

Siri Worm did not enjoy a pain-free introduction to life with the Netherlands Under-19s two years ago but, as she prepares to win a record 32nd cap, she is determined to avoid any hurt as her side face Norway in what is shaping up to be a must-win game.

"It's quite special: I'll become the record appearance-maker at this level for the Netherlands," explained the 19-year-old as she prepared to eclipse Sheila van den Bulk's mark. "My debut was against Belgium and I ended up with a black eye but there have been better highlights; getting to the semi-finals last year is undoubtedly the main one. We've grown from then and are determined to get to the final this time, though the last four is our initial goal."

The Oranje suffered a minor setback to that ambition on Monday when they kicked off Group B with a 1-1 draw against a Spain team they beat 2-0 at the same stage 12 months ago. "We didn't start the best but the second half was much better, though even then there was room for improvement," said Worm. "I wasn't surprised by what Spain brought to the game as last year was pretty tight too. The difference was that last year we found it a little easier to create openings."

They will hope for immediate improvement against Norway on Thursday, in a match that takes on added significance for the Oranje as their last outing comes against an impressive Germany side. There is cause for optimism; the Netherlands dominated their first qualifying round meeting with Norway last September even if, Worm concedes, "a failure to capitalise on our opportunities meant we were restricted to a 1-1 draw.

"Norway are a different side to Spain, a little less pressing," she added, turning attention to their rematch in Imola. "We'll have to play a bit differently – if we can't initially get through the midfield then we'll have to use the wings a bit quicker. Johan van Heertum [who replaced coach Hesterine de Reus ahead of the second qualifying round] has brought a few nuances into our play, looking to circulate the ball through the midfield, so our tactics have evolved."

As has Worm. Formerly a centre-back for club and country, over the past 18 months she has been largely utilised as a winger for FC Twente, making 16 appearances this season as the Tukkers clinched their maiden championship. "I don't have a problem playing centre-back as I always have really," she explained. "I switched to the wing for Twente because it means I can play more.

"It's been a special season – we were crowned Dutch champions and will play in the Women's Champions League next season." It could improve further if the Netherlands are still here on 11 June for the UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship final.

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