WU19 EURO: Group B preview

The coaches of England, Norway, Spain and Germany discuss hopes, expectations, uncertainty and preparations ahead of the first round of WU19 EURO games.

L to R: Nils Lexerød, Maren Meinert, Mo Marley and Jorge Vilda
L to R: Nils Lexerød, Maren Meinert, Mo Marley and Jorge Vilda ©IFA

Schedule (KO CET, local time is one hour ahead)
15 July: England v Germany (Rishon Le-zion, 18.30), Spain v Norway (Ramla, 18.30)
18 July: England v Spain (Ramla, 18.30), Germany v Norway (Lod, 18.30)
21 July: Norway v England (Ramla, 18.30), Germany v Spain (Rishon Le-zion, 18.30)

Get the lowdown on all four teams

ENGLAND
Manager Mo Marley: "Our squad is inexperienced in some ways. They've played international football but some have come into this squad without having played many minutes for their clubs, so we don't have huge expectations. It's very hard, as a coach, to pitch where they are. It's about mind-set, and that old cliche of the strength of the group. There are so many examples of experienced players who don't achieve, whereas players who have lower expectations but great unity, can excel."

2009: 'Team' England take honours
2009: 'Team' England take honours

Did you know?
A refereeing error meant that Leah Williamson had to retake a penalty three days after it was initially awarded against Norway in qualifying – miss and England were out; score and they were through. Williamson converted to earn Marley's team a 2-2 draw and top spot in the section.

GERMANY
Coach Maren Meinert: "Our preparations have been short and nice, as always. We had six days in Germany and arrived here on Saturday and have practiced twice a day in Israel. Everyone is healthy so I have a full squad to choose from. I'm looking forward to it. We try to prepare in what time we have and make sure we are ready for the first game. Who knows what will happen but up until now it seems to have gone well."

Did you know?
Germany, who have qualifed for every finals bar 2012 and 2014, profited from an own goal in every game during the elite round.

See Šašić strike from 2005 WU19 EURO
See Šašić strike from 2005 WU19 EURO

SPAIN
Coach Jorge Vilda: "We know we're in a tough group but we like a challenge. We're looking forward to getting up and running. The squad is a mix of the younger players that finished U19 runners-up last year and the older ones from the squad that were runners-up at the U17s. Obviously the experience of last year is an added incentive but for the moment we're not looking beyond the group stage. We want to get through to the semi-finals and seal a place at the U-20 Women's World Cup. Even then, we dream about becoming champions on a daily basis."

Did you know?
Spain's 14-0 victory over Lithuania was the biggest win in qualifying. They scored a qualifying leading 36 goals in all and three of the top five scorers in qualifying were Spanish – Nahikari García, Andrea Sánchez and Mariona Caldentey. They were the first side to book a finals spot.

Finals goals since 2005
Finals goals since 2005

NORWAY
Coach Nils Lexerød: "I see us as underdogs as there are great teams here. Germany, Spain, England are all stand-out teams in the tournament for me, and they're all in our group. Spain will be really tough. They always impress, and did so en route to these finals, but they're not perfect. They have weaknesses we hope to punish. We know it's possible for us to reach the semi-finals."

Did you know?
This is the first season in 15 years that Norway have been led by anyone but Jarl Torske, who departed last summer to take up a position as an assistant with the men's senior side.

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