The women's national team have an exciting double-header in store. Martina Voss-Tecklenburg's team will take on Australia at the BRITA Arena in Wiesbaden (Saturday from 16:10 CEST), before facing Norway (16:00 CEST). After missing the last two internationals against the Netherlands and Belgium due to Coronavirus restrictions related to the new strain in the United Kingdom, Leonie Maier is now back with the national team.
The 28-year-old full-back spoke to journalists virtually ahead of the upcoming games. DFB.de summarises the highlights.
Leonie Maier on…
the last meeting with Australia so far:
As far as I can remember, it was the second group game at the 2016 Olympics. It was a well-fought game and we didn't put in our best performance. After being 2-0 down, we managed to salvage a draw.
Her Australian teammates:
Playing with some of the opposition at club level helps a little bit in assessing them. They're all top individual players. Caitlin Foord is extremely strong physically and her style of play is simple and direct. She always gives one hundred percent and I like playing with her.
Expectations for the Australia game:
Australia will be highly motivated. The players have met for the first time in a long time and have not played a game together yet. Sam Kerr is an attacker at a very high level, who we'll have to disrupt as soon as she received possession so that she can't develop her play. I'm expecting a close, hard-fought match, and I'm looking forward to it.
The performance level of the national team:
We've started the change, and of course it takes time for everyone to find their role. You have to grow into it, but we're on a good path when you look at recent months. The team is in great harmony with the coaching team and there are always young players coming who are strengthening the side. The two games will be challenging and good for us.
The team’s potential to improve:
We didn't get off to a good start against the Netherlands and were a bit intimidated at the beginning. We have to find better solutions in our build-up play when we're under pressure and create more chances. That was what we focused on in the last training session.
Women's football in England:
The impressions are positive. Women's football is more highly valued in England. ALl the games are broadcasted on the FA Player (a web player on the English Football Association's website, editor's note). In addition, a lot of clubs invest in the teams and have good training conditions. Recently, Manchester United's women's team even played at Old Trafford.
Steps to promote women's football in Germany:
First, better structures and framework conditions must be created. Women's teams should be able to train on the same pitches as the men and use the same facilities. Clubs should have to invest more so that women can concentrate fully on football. And it would also have to be given more media spotlight.
Equal pay in women's and men's football:
It would be nice for all of us. However, the general conditions for all teams are more important, before anything else. If you still have a job at the same time and then go to training after, the quality on the pitch suffers.