On Tuesday, national team coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg named her squad for the two upcoming Women’s World Cup qualifiers against Bulgaria on September 18th and Serbia on September 21st. Voss-Tecklenburg answered questions from the press on the start of the women’s international season. DFB.de has all the latest.
... the World Cup qualifiers: We’re coming up against opponents who we need to beat. Bulgaria have a physical team who we will need to get through. If I could compare Serbia to the men’s team’s last opponents, then I’d say we are also coming up against another ‘Liechtenstein’. We will need to be persistent in the game, and have good passing as well as effective movement on and off the ball. We’ll then see how it plays out.
... the upcoming EUROs in England: We’ve not done something like this before – we’re playing World Cup qualifiers in preparation for a EUROs. We don’t have much time to choose how we prepare for our opponents – we will have to find our balance and prepare for a good EUROs by qualifying for the World Cup.
... the plan for the EUROs: We’re focusing on the two World Cup qualifiers right now. In February, we don’t have any of those games as we’ll be playing in a tournament against three very strong opponents.
... the performance of a “first team”: I don’t use the phrase “first team” often. You can’t win anything with just eleven players; you need more than eleven in a squad. Of course, we want to play our “key players” and form a rhythm, especially in the second half of the season, as we decide on our formations and decide on the seven or eight players who can start in every game. They will likely not be the same players as at previous tournaments. A single “key player” playing in the middle wouldn’t be good – we’ve set up our team to be versatile and diverse, and we can only improve as a team. We have a very flat hierarchy so that everyone can communicate and improve.
...Dzsenifer Marozsán: It’s great to have Dzsenifer back with us. We’re looking forward to seeing her live after being in the USA. I’m excited to see how she’ll play on the field, and she is looking forward to coming here. “Maro” made a huge impression in America, where she had to get used to the high intensity. She’ll be able to describe that a lot better in person herself.
... Alexandra Popp’s injury: We’re integrating “Poppi” as much as we can, talking to her all the time. She’s in a situation where she needs to get through her rehabilitation as well as possible. She has to recover first, and only then can she focus on other things.
... the situation in attack: We’re expecting “Poppi” to play in some time, as she has just extended her contract. Laura Freigang is showing us that she has good instincts. She is persistent and is deadly in the opposition’s penalty area. Lea Schüller is similar to Alexandra in my eyes. She is quick and dangerous outside the box. She has to be at her best. We’re excited with Lena Petermann too, as she’s returning to us for the first time in a long while. You also can’t forget Nicole Anyomi – five players for one position isn’t bad going at all.
... Sjoeke Nüsken: I’ve known Sjoeke for a long, long time. She’s really matured in the last few years – she went into the army, she studied and she got injured. Her time with injury was very tough for her and she fought through a lot. Now she’s ready to show herself and adapt to the international level. She has to gain some experience, as she’s only played five international games so far. She’s growing into the international game and we are confident in her.
... Giulia Gwinn: Giulia is coming along well with her recovery and is doing brilliantly. We agreed with FC Bayern not to select her. She should get her minutes up with her club and get back up to speed in her performances. We’ll work out how to manage it – hopefully she’ll be ready for us in October, as we haven’t set that squad in stone yet.
... the youth teams: We all know that the pandemic has had a much bigger impact on youth football than in professional teams, but I think that we have focused on the positives and that the first courses have gone very well. We’ve got our eyes on several young players who might be able to play in future tournaments. I’m not worried at all about the youth setup, as a lot of good players are coming through. There are a lot of links throughout the setup from the U15s to the first team and as a result I believe that we’re going to see a lot of huge talents in the next three or four years who can make the jump to the women’s national team.
... the visibility of women’s football: We want to put good performances in and qualify for the World Cup. Big tournaments like next year’s EUROs in England automatically have good visibility. It falls on us to bring our best performances to these tournaments and there’s no doubt that we want to play great football in a professional way and in our own style. Then we can hopefully be seen with the respect and appreciation that we should be. That goes for everyone; the media clubs and general society.
... the new team bus: The bus looks great and demonstrates the kind of identification and visibility we want. To have our own bus with our own slogan on it is a great sign.
... the training course with several internationals: We are very happy to have so many of our players showing an interest in going into coaching. It’s a great advantage for us to have the players’ understanding in this area. We already have a few former international players in our youth setup as coaches. It’s a great statement and shows that we’re going in the right direction. We’ll have to see if all the players want to be coaches later on.
... exchanging ideas within the DFB: Everyone learns from each other here. Recently, we spoke to Stefan Kuntz and his coaching staff for the men’s U21s and spoke with them about how they won their EUROs. We discussed how you can change things in short periods of time like between games at tournaments, as well as themes like set pieces, defensive will and how they sorted out problems during the tournament. We also discussed how experiences for one squad can be translated into another. I always love talking to other coaches and getting their input.
... the proposition of a world cup every two years: I don’t know any details on the idea, but my first reaction is “no”. Why should we change it? We already play big tournaments all the time in the form of the World Cup, EUROs and Olympics. We already have overworked players who need breaks from time to time, and it’s our responsibility to provide that for the performing athletes. A World Cup is a sporting highlight which holds its own prestige and wonder – the system is fine how it is now in my eyes. If there are any convincing arguments in favour of it then I’m all ears, but right now I don’t know if anything will change my opinion on it.