Silvia Neid is ideally positioned to remark with authority on ladies’s soccer, having gained a number of world and European honours as coach of Germany. As UEFA Girls’s EURO 2017 approaches, she talked to UEFA Direct’s teaching complement, The Technician, concerning the outstanding progress of the ladies’s recreation and its prospects for the long run.
At first of the 12 months, Silvia Neid was named FIFA Girls’s Coach of the Yr for the third time, capping an unprecedented teaching profession. She stepped down as nationwide crew coach after profitable gold on the Olympics in Brazil, and now heads up the DFB’s ladies’s and women’ scouting division. The Technician met up with the previous world and European champion to speak about her new function and the way forward for ladies’s soccer.
Silvia Neid, congratulations on being named FIFA Girls’s Coach of the Yr. How was the awards ceremony?
I used to be very glad simply to be there as one of many three shortlisted nominees. It’s all the time an exquisite night; you meet some actually distinctive individuals. It was an excellent honour to win the award for the third time. It felt just like the icing on the cake. There’s no higher technique to finish my profession with the ladies’s nationwide crew. Though I’m effectively conscious that I couldn’t have completed it alone. You’ll be able to’t win with out your crew, and the crew behind the crew. I actually cannot emphasise that sufficient.
You are actually operating the DFB’s ladies’s and women’ scouting division. Are you able to inform us what that includes and what your priorities are on this new function?
We wish to keep watch over different nations. It’s essential to be looking for brand new tendencies and developments in ladies’s soccer. That’s my accountability. Our goal is to be a number of years forward of the sport and the gamers should be educated accordingly. I share my findings with the brand new nationwide crew coach, Steffi Jones, and he or she decides what to do with the knowledge.
To what extent is your function as head of scouting about watching matches on the one hand, and discussing what you see on the opposite?
After 20 years in varied teaching roles, I’ve discovered a factor or two. Anybody concerned in ladies’s soccer may have observed that the Asian nations are making nice strides. It’s not for nothing that they’re profitable so many titles at youth degree. I’m pondering of North Korea and Japan specifically. And in my new function, I’m very eager to know the way they’re doing it. How has Japan received so many well-trained gamers? And persistently over time, additionally at youth degree, i.e. Below-17 and Below-19. That’s one thing that’s actually struck me. They have to be doing one thing particular by way of participant improvement, and that pursuits me. There are additionally issues occurring in Spain. These are all tendencies that we’ve to keep watch over.
Are you able to share with us your preliminary insights? What makes the Japanese so good, for instance?
They place quite a lot of emphasis on the fundamentals and on approach. They work very onerous and coach intensively in these areas. Take trying over your shoulder for example: each participant appears to be like over her shoulder 3 times earlier than receiving the ball. So she is aware of what’s occurring behind her. I discover that fairly spectacular, and interesting. I might like to go to Japan to see for myself what precisely they’re doing there. On the similar time, I have to say that in Germany we’re additionally trendsetters, and can proceed to be so sooner or later. We’re already doing a very good job, however you must hold your eyes open and wish to study from what you see occurring elsewhere.
The growth in ladies’s soccer improvement over the previous few years has been plain for all to see. What are your ideas on this and the way do you see issues now?
The progress has been unimaginable. Once I suppose again to my first worldwide in 1982, it truly is unbelievable what has occurred since then. Every thing has improved, athletically, tactically, technically, and by way of velocity. It’s now roughly on a par with males’s soccer. Every thing has progressed and improved.
What tactical enhancements have impressed you essentially the most?
Plenty of tendencies are taken from males’s soccer. Like screening midfielders, for instance. On the Olympics, Sweden confirmed that they play deeper than regular. They tried to permit little or no area in their very own half. These are additionally tendencies and tactical developments. The gamers are merely higher educated. In that sense, we’re all heading in the right direction.
To what extent have tactical components and even taking part in kinds been taken over from the lads’s recreation due to all of the footage obtainable that you should utilize with the crew?
I’ve completed that. I actually like how Dortmund had been taking part in a number of years in the past. I nonetheless actually like their fashion of play. We watched a number of bits and items and took some footage to point out to our gamers. Then it was a query of placing it into follow.
Did you even have technical discussions with Joachim Löw, the lads’s nationwide crew coach?
A couple of occasions a 12 months a minimum of. I used a number of of the issues they had been doing within the males’s recreation. I already had a very good relationship with the scouting division and when I discovered one thing fascinating, I may get entire sequences edited collectively. In that respect, there was all the time quite a lot of very shut cooperation.
How would you describe what Joachim Löw has achieved with the lads’s nationwide crew, beginning as assistant coach and over the course of the DFB’s restructuring within the early 2000s?
Joachim Löw has completed loads for the lads’s recreation. He has formed males’s soccer in Germany and moved it ahead. He has additionally been FIFA Coach of the Yr and is world champion. I feel we play actually glorious soccer. We play offensively and had some nice video games on the EURO in France. Clearly there’s additionally all the time a component of luck concerned. It’s a must to hit the again of the web on the proper time.
Let’s discuss briefly about grassroots soccer. Which explicit areas want extra consideration, in your opinion?
I feel we could be very happy, simply trying on the numbers. Plenty of ladies and women play soccer. In Germany, a minimum of, it’s the primary sport. We’ve faculties and academies the place soccer is obtainable. We’re very a lot heading in the right direction. Clearly it’s good for the game once you get titles. We see that in tennis too: Angelique Kerber is now world primary and tennis has develop into extra in style once more amongst children in consequence. We have to hold profitable in ladies’s soccer and be sure that women get within the sport. Naturally, we should then additionally make sure that we’ve a robust elite. It’s all about participant improvement.
Analysis in Europe reveals that you could get a number of women into soccer however most of them drop out as youngsters. What’s your tackle this pattern?
It’s completely regular. Maybe women that aren’t so good or aren’t 100% into soccer determine they’d choose to play tennis. Maybe they’re higher at tennis. Typically they solely work these items out as youngsters. However I actually don’t see this as an issue. We could be proud that we’re the primary sport general.
What do you suppose could be completed Europe-wide to advertise formidable coaches, male or feminine, in ladies’s soccer?
We’ve all the time tried to encourage feminine gamers to coach as coaches. And it’s paid off. We’ve a number of ladies who used to play on the nationwide crew now working in teaching. Germany has been main the way in which for years in that respect. [Former national team coach] Tina Theune began it off and I stored it going. The essential factor is to have gamers who actually put their hearts into it. They need to go on their expertise to the subsequent era. To be sincere, I do not actually know what it’s like in different nations. I can solely say that the tendency appears to be to advertise ladies. In Japan, for instance, they’ve now appointed the primary lady as head coach of the [women’s] nationwide crew.
Why do you suppose it’s essential for nationwide associations to attempt to hold profitable feminine gamers in soccer after they grasp up their boots?
As a result of they clearly function function fashions for younger women they usually do what they do at the start as a result of they’re obsessed with it. Whenever you love what you do, you can provide it your all. We’ve had superb experiences of this.
As long-standing European champions, the expectations on Germany at Girls’s EURO 2017 will as soon as once more be extraordinarily excessive. How do you take care of that strain?
Everybody expects you to win. However the groups that in the end do know solely too effectively how onerous it’s. You want absolute focus. It’s onerous work and also you want a pinch of luck too, to come back out on prime. I’ve solely ever taken it one match at a time. Germany definitely have the potential, however it’s by no means a foregone conclusion. It has to all come collectively on the decisive moments. It’s essential rating on the proper time, and once you make tactical adjustments, they need to be the correct ones.
Which crew may trigger an upset on the Girls’s EURO?
Spain, maybe? The favourites are the 4 regular suspects: Norway, Sweden, France and Germany. Sadly for France, they’ve nonetheless by no means gained a title, regardless of being thought of one of many favourites for years now. They actually have first-rate gamers who’re very technically completed. They play a really clever recreation, however by some means it’s by no means fairly been sufficient. I’ve received my eye on Spain, and perhaps additionally England. Each groups have made excellent progress over the previous few years.
The sector has been expanded from 12 to 16. What impact will which have?
I’m very curious to see. There are positively sufficient good groups in ladies’s soccer, for my part, to extend the sphere by 4 with out there being any drop in high quality. Take Scotland, for instance, the place we’ve additionally seen regular progress. I feel we’ve a very good format. It’s clear on the outset that the highest two groups in every group undergo and the third and fourth-placed groups go dwelling. I do not know what is going to occur however I feel it’ll be good.
Berti Vogts as soon as stated it was ‘getting crowded on the prime’ – to what extent does that additionally apply to ladies’s soccer over the previous few years?
Plenty of nations have made a substantial amount of progress. There are extra favourites now than 12 years in the past. Clearly I’m pondering of France, Sweden, Norway, Spain, England and Germany. However an increasing number of nations have come alongside that are actually out to win titles.
No European crew has gained the Girls’s World Cup since 2007. There wasn’t even a European crew within the final two finals. Do you suppose that is only a query of luck or is Europe being overtaken by different nations?
There are glorious groups everywhere in the world which might be able to profitable the World Cup. Take Canada, for instance, who’ve taken bronze within the final two Olympic Video games. And the US, who we all know have been making ready collectively very intensively for a very long time. Then there’s Japan, whose praises I’ve already sung. And Brazil. Clearly Europe additionally has to maintain advancing if we’re to have one other world champion. However it’s not that straightforward. I feel that each nation is investing much more than they had been only a few years in the past, to organize their gamers for such tournaments.
Golf equipment are signing a number of prime gamers from Brazil, Japan and the US. To what extent is that this a problem for European golf equipment and native participant improvement?
In case you take a look at it in a constructive mild, the general normal is being pushed up. Gamers coming in from different nations add quite a lot of high quality to the combination. We simply need to be sure that the younger gamers don’t get sidelined or maybe get loaned out. It’s essential that they get to play. And it’s essential that after they’re at that stage of most potential, they’re given the chance to develop it. Which will imply they need to play for different groups and push their method by the ranks. However younger gamers at groups that signal the large names may study loads. There are professionals and cons, on the finish of the day. Finally every crew has to determine for itself.
The place do you see ladies’s soccer in 5 years’ time?
Reaching new heights. Maybe even sooner and extra athletic. I feel there might be much more gamers and greater squads. In any case, I see it advancing. Girls’s soccer hasn’t had its heyday but.
Silvia Neid’s profession highlights
– Winner of 4 main honours as head coach of the Germany ladies’s senior crew over an 11-year interval
– Coached the facet to victory on the 2007 Girls’s World Cup in China, securing Germany’s second successive title
– Masterminded the nation’s first-ever gold medal within the ladies’s Olympic soccer event at Rio 2016
– Three-time winner of the FIFA Girls’s Coach of the 12 months award
– Capped 111 occasions for the nationwide crew throughout her profession, scoring 48 objectives
This text, which has been edited, appeared initially in UEFA Direct No165