Captain of runners-up Norway at UEFA Women's EURO 2013, Ingvild Stensland provides some pointers for the next generation ahead of this month's finals.
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Ullevaal is a big incentive
It's great to be at home, playing in front of your own fans. The national stadium, Ullevaal, is something you associate with important matches and famous moments. It's a great honour for the U19s to be playing the final there. I think both men and women feel that when they play there – it's Norway's cradle of football. The final being there is an extra incentive.
Know your history
Norway was an early exponent of women's football and quickly staked its claim in the women's game. We have done very well internationally. We have great traditions and we have performed well because we have the experience from the World Cup and European Championship. There's a good playing culture here in Norway, a culture of winning.
Inspire the next generation
After a couple of years of poor performances, it was very positive to get a EURO medal in Sweden last summer [where Norway lost to Germany in the final]. We got back on track as a tournament team, and I think that gives many young girls the passion to play, to want to be the best. That again generates more players and more spectators for these championships.
Reach for the stars
You have to believe. There probably weren't that many who believed that Norway would take the EURO silver, but the players did. You have to believe in yourselves, the team and in medals – and strive for the gold at these EUROs.
Savour the experience
I remember the U18s in Sweden [in 1999]. It was fantastic and though it didn't go so well [Norway finished last in the four-team round-robin], it meant a lot. There were a lot of expectations and emotions. I'm an experienced player now, and when I see all the young players emerging, they have all played championships before reaching the first team. They know about the pressure. It was the same for me: it was great to have been able to try out stuff before you enter the national A team.
Find a balance
It's always a challenge to be away from home for a long time. We were away for seven weeks last year with the women's team. I think it's important to make sure that everybody is thriving and takes part. It's also important to find your own time, do things so that you can relax as well.