Coaches react to Official Draw
© LOC

Following Friday’s Official Draw in Baku, the 16 teams contesting the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Azerbaijan 2012 now know who they will be facing in the group phase. FIFA.com was on hand to gauge the reactions of the coaches.

GROUP A
“The draw was pretty lenient on us to begin with. Colombia were the first name out of the hat and I said to myself that it could have been worse. They are a good side but they’re not the strongest team in the tournament. Then things got complicated because we got drawn with Nigeria and Canada too. They’re two strong teams. If we can get past Colombia first, then anything could happen,” Azerbaijan coach Sissi Raith.

“It’s a good group, and I like the look of it. We’ve got our sights set on the second round. The opening match against Azerbaijan will be interesting and we hope to put on a good show for the fans,” Colombia coach Fabian Felipe Taborda Torres.

“It’s a pretty evenly matched group. All the teams at the tournament will be going there just to play football, and they’ve all got the same goal, which is to win,” Nigeria coach Peter Dedevbo.

GROUP B

We’re up against Korea DPR, who we often meet in competitions and are a hard team to beat. We’ve also got France, who are one of the best European teams, and then Gambia. It’s a very interesting group but it’s a tough one too,” USA assistant coach Kerry Reid Bradley.

“We’ve been drawn in Group B, which is a very difficult pool. We don’t know that much about our opponents but we do know we’ve got some hard matches ahead of us. We’re going to try and go as far as we can in this competition,” Korea DPR coach Yong Bong Hwang.

“We are not going to Azerbaijan just to kick the ball around. We’re going there to win.  We’re in a competition and winning it is our only aim. We don’t care who our opponents are because it will be 11 against 11. Our objective is to bring the trophy back to Gambia,” Gambia coach Buba K. Jallow.

GROUP C

It’s a hard group but that’s always the case in a tournament like this, where you’ve got the best teams in the world and there are only 16 of them. Our aim is to show how much we’ve progressed by going as far as we can,” Mexico coach Christopher Carlos Cuellar.

“It’s a difficult draw, but when you’re in a tournament like this you expect to come up against very strong sides. We’re going to see what the best teams in Asia and South America have to offer, which is going to be a great challenge for us,” New Zealand coach Paul Temple.

“There are four different schools of football in our group, four very different styles and very four good teams. It’s going to be exciting and informative too, and we’ll need to work hard to get our preparations just right for these games,” Brazil assistant coach Mario Cezar Ribeiro Soares.

“The group doesn’t really matter. We’re expecting to play six matches and to reach the final. Our objective is to win, but you can’t really predict what’s going to happen in a competition like this, especially when it’s the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup,” Japan coach Hiroshi Yoshida.

GROUP D

It’s very exciting to be here. Our matches are sure to be very interesting, and we’ll try to represent Uruguay as best we can. We hope to get through the group phase,” Uruguay coach Graciela Susana Rebollo Vogrincic.

“This is a very special moment. My personal wish was just to be here with all these coaches and have the opportunity to see who we’d be up against. We have to go away and prepare ourselves now. Our fate has been decided and what lies ahead of us will not be easy,” Ghana coach Dramani Mas-ud Didi.

“There’s no such thing as an easy group at a World Cup. Every match we play will be tough, and we’ll just have to take things one game at a time. It’s a difficult group and all the teams will be trying to make the second round and not come up short,” Germany coach Anouschka Bernhard.