“It’s fun. The players are enthusiastic and give their best. They are impressive and motivating.” Anders Juncker had his first fun training as the Orange Women’s National Coach, working for a crucial encounter with Iceland in the World Cup qualifiers.
Juncker, who was introduced last week as the successor to fired Mark Parsons, was happy to see the players radiate that they really want it. The desire to do so will also be necessary in the coming international period.
If the Netherlands can beat Iceland next Tuesday, they will qualify for next year’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. If they lose, the Netherlands will become second in the group and will be judged in the play-offs. There is also a good chance of getting second place in the event of a tie.
And so Juncker says he set the tone right away. “If you want to participate, you have to work hard and be part of the group. If you don’t want to, you have to leave.”
Juncker has followed Orange closely in recent years as he keeps in mind what needs to be done differently than it has been in the past. However, he does not want to comment on the approach of Parsons, who died with the Netherlands in the quarter-finals of the European Championship. “I will not say anything negative about my predecessor. By the way, the players do not.”
Sherida Spits didn’t notice these guys did either. The international record (201 caps), to which Juncker is set to intercede, was clearly indicative of what makes the new national coach’s style different. “We have to work. Juncker makes us work even harder.”
Big countries were more fit
According to Spetses, the Netherlands is also ready for “100% hard work on and off the field”. The European Championship midfielder saw that the major nations were more fit. According to her, a different kind of coach was needed other than Parsons and Juncker is the perfect man for the job. “It’s nice to be here now. It makes me smile.”
Although Juncker says he knows most players well, he had to make a suggestion round. He did this especially for young players. “You got the names of eight out of ten players right, haha. It’s also very special introducing yourself to people you know from TV.”
National coach Juncker’s first training session: ‘You have to set the tone’
Next week, Juncker can get to know the whole group better. He can also see the players in action during the match before meeting Iceland. On Friday, the Netherlands will play a friendly match against Scotland.
Spitze is confident the bad taste of the European Championship can wear off. “We shouldn’t pretend we can’t play football. We have a lot of individual quality.”
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