Ahead of Canada's second game at the FIFA Women's World Cup Germany 2011™, FIFA.com met with the Canucks young midfielder Kaylyn Kyle, who is participating in her first FIFA Women's World Cup. The 22-year-old shared with us her hopes and expectations for the tournament and also for their upcoming encounter with France.
FIFA.com: What are your expectations for tomorrow’s game against France?
Kaylyn Kyle: I don’t think you can call it expectations, we are just really focusing on going in, playing a really good game, executing our game plan and just putting on a strong performance.
France already have a win under their belts, while you go in with one defeat, so how do you see the match-up?
I think both teams are very strong, we did play a two-time defending world champion in our opening match so we have to give them a lot of credit, because they are obviously a great team. France shouldn’t be taken lightly either, they are obviously a top team in this World Cup, so like I said, we are just hoping to go in looking to execute our game plan and get a win, then move on to meet Nigeria and get a win there as well.
Are there any players on the French team who you would be looking out for?
I think they are all very strong and all have different qualities, so to focus in on one player wouldn’t be fair. They are collectively a very strong team, very athletic, good on and off the ball, so I think we need to look out for them as a team rather than individual players.
You have played before at the U-20 World Cup, but this is your first participation in the senior World Cup, so how is it different?
It is extremely different, I came in with no expectations, and I really didn’t know what to expect. I spoke to a couple of senior players on the team and they kind of explained it a little and told me some things, but our opening match was an unbelievable experience with 74,000 people present, and of course I was very nervous. I'm really excited about the second match now that I have played one game and my nerves are a little bit more settled, so things should be a lot easier when we come up against France.
Canada has been at the FIFA Women's World Cup four times, but have only managed to go through the group stage once, when you came fourth in 2003. How far do you think you will go this time?
I think all teams would love to go to that final game and we would be lying if we said we didn’t, but now we are just focusing on getting out of our group, and then after that we will just take it one step at a time. Right now, we are just focused on our next game and we are not looking too far ahead into the future.
The majority of the Canadian team doesn’t play professionally. Has that affected the team?
Our whole team has been in residency since January in Rome. I think it has been very positive for us, and we have had some great results over the past year. Our coach is really a genius on and off the field and our coaching staff have all been great. Being in a residency program with a different culture has changed us for the better.
The top teams in the world are all in Germany, so is there any team here that you would look forward to playing against outside Group A?
All the teams are great, and surprisingly I would really like to meet Germany again. For me as a young player it is an eye opener to play against such big stars and to be here with the national team is a huge honour for me.
Finally what do you think of the organisation of the tournament and the facilities here?
It is phenomenal! It has been a world class experience here in Germany. They not only treat their senior teams professionally, but also their younger teams which I am sure helps a lot in the development of football, especially women's. It has been unbelievable, for someone like me who is here at the World Cup for the first time. It has just been an amazing event, from the food, to the buses, to the hotels, the training pitches, everything is just fantastic. And the fact that we are moving around between different venues is great because we are experiencing different atmospheres, different stadiums and different fans. This is such a wonderful idea to promote women's football all over the country.