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Service with a smile: meet Michaela Moťovská

Experienced in UEFA Europa League hospitality, Slovakia captain Michaela Moťovská hopes the hosts will serve up better displays after opening Group A with a 6-0 loss to the Netherlands.

Michaela Moťovská poses, tray in hand, in the surroundings of the tournament hotel
Michaela Moťovská poses, tray in hand, in the surroundings of the tournament hotel ©Sportsfile

The 2016 UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship is in Slovakia and it is fortunate their national team have captain Michaela Moťovská to lead the way – as she knows a thing or two about being a great host. UEFA.com spoke to the Sparta Praha defender, 18, about life in the VIP lane and her tournament so far.

On her experience working in hospitality ...
My club manager invited me to work with the hospitality team when the men's side welcomed Krasnodar and Lazio in the UEFA Europa League rounds of 32 and 16 [last season]. I speak English, which he thought would be helpful, and I really enjoyed it. We welcomed guests to the UEFA VIP Club, brought them to the lounge for something to eat and drink and I gave a tour of the club.


On whether it was interesting to see football from a different angle ...
Absolutely. As a player, you have no idea what goes on behind the scenes and what goes into planning for a major competition like that. People are at the stadium hours and hours before kick-off, setting up various parts of the venue to help get everything ready.

On hospitality being a potential career ...
Possibly, yes. I'm studying Economics, English and German at college and I'll go to university next. I would like to work for UEFA, but, above all, I love playing football, so I'll try and be a professional before I fall back on anything.

On the mood in the camp after Slovakia's 6-0 loss to the Netherlands on matchday one ...
It was very difficult, we were really upset and disappointed about the result. We wanted to win the match, that was really important, but the first three goals were our errors, so it was very hard to pick ourselves up after that. We couldn't just say 'OK, let's go for it', and have the same attitude we did before kick-off. It's part of a learning curve.


On the excitement around Slovakia being involved in a women's football tournament for the first time ...
Our local broadcaster, RTVS, has taken all of our group games and we got a bigger crowd than we expected for the first match, so we hope the support will continue. It's impossible to say if people are watching us on TV, or coming to the games unless we see them there, because we have our phones and tablets taken off us when we are on international duty. It's not as bad as it sounds, as it gives us a chance to focus on the tournament and spend more quality time together.

On her aspirations for Women's U19 EURO ...
I play with the captain of the Slovakia women's senior team, Monika Matysová. She and all my team-mates just told me to enjoy it, to be the best I could and to make sure it was unforgettable. That's what we all hope for.