The 2021 Women’s European Championship has been delayed by one year due to the Coronavirus pandemic, domestic football is on hold and players and coaches have had to adjust to working from home – there are certainly a number of issues for Martina Voss-Tecklenburg to deal with at the moment. We spoke to the Germany Women’s head coach about the current situation.
Martina Voss-Tecklenburg on…
…the DFL’s decision to distribute €7.5 million among 3. Liga and Women’s Bundesliga sides and the question of returning to league action: It’s not only a fantastic gesture, but it also demonstrates a deep understanding for the situation the clubs find themselves in. I’m delighted that a number of clubs can now plan for the future with a little more security. When it comes to restarting the league, the most important thing is public health, but I’m confident that the FLYERALARM Women’s Bundesliga will be able to complete its season, particularly as there aren’t many matchdays left. We’ll have to wait and see exactly how it will all take shape though.
…delaying the Women’s EUROs until 2022: I think it’s sensible and justifiable for the tournament not to be in the shadow of EURO 2020. Having it take place in summer 2022 gives it a unique selling point, which will be very beneficial. Plus, the Olympics are also set to take place in 2021, so it makes it fairer – particularly for the European teams – that some nations don’t have to prepare for two major tournaments in the space of one year. That wouldn’t have been the right decision in terms of managing the physical strain.
…the working day without football: We’re doing a lot of intensive work to do with structural issues, something that there isn’t usually much time for. We’ve made some headway with our code of practice for coaching, which affects every team from U15 level through to the senior players. The goal is for players to grow up with the principles and guidelines of the DFB as early as possible so that we’re all reading form the same hymn sheet. We as coaches want to use this time to develop ourselves. We’re also in close communication with the different regional association’s coaches as we’re unable to do any scouting at the moment. The same goes for the coaches in the FLYERALARM Women’s Bundesliga. The level of support is brilliant – there’s a real sense of togetherness. Nevertheless, there’s no denying that you miss the day-to-day football activities, but I’m certainly not twiddling my thumbs.
…the future of women’s football: When I talk to other people who work in the women’s game, no one really has any major concerns. There aren’t as many things that we’re dependent on as there are in other areas. I’m hopeful that everyone will overcome this crisis, although it’s clear that there will have to be cuts. If we can get a little more planning security in the next month or two, then we afford to feel more positive.
…a possible advantage for the younger internationals as the postponing of the EUROs gives them more time to develop: We want to make the best of the situation, but the time that we have now is also available to the other nations. There were also a lot of good arguments made for a European Championships in 2021. We will take it as it is, and our potential for development is definitely not a disadvantage. Ultimately, a lot depends on athletic preparations, but there are still a lot of question marks since no one knows right now how the situation will develop. We will try and give our all on the pitch in 2022.
…the cancellation of both friendlies against the USA and a possible future dates for them to take place: We all will assume that the games will take place at some point. But like a lot of other things, it depends on when and how the competitions – The EUROs and World Cup qualification – will be continued. You will just need to wait and see how much space there is afterwards for international friendlies. But we are flexible and we will adapt.
…contact with players abroad: The situation is very different. France and England have been hit very hard by the coronavirus, so their players are mostly on their own. In England, they have plans in place for regeneration training, as there’s no point training incredibly hard when football has been suspended. It’s always dependent on the different clubs. Of course, we will try and take all players with us, take a lot of online measures, and look for support. For example, we had virtual talks with Dzsenifer Marozsán, Sara Däbritz, Giulia Gwinn and Alex Popp, as well as the youth teams. I can tell how hard they’re working. If you are lucky enough to be allowed to come back and watch training in small groups, you will definitely see their joy.