On the back of another solid season in the Frauen-Bundesliga, Kristin Demann will be upping sticks before the start of the new season after completing a move from TSG Hoffenheim to Bayern Munich. But before the defender resettles in Bavaria there’s the small matter of the 2017 European Championship which got underway for Germany last night as they were held to a scoreless draw by Sweden. We caught up with the defender to talk about Germany’s aims for the Euros and her own defensive versatility.
A familiar foe
Whilst Sweden were happy with a draw again a team that routinely ejects them from major tournaments whenever they met, there might have been talk about Germany being disappointed with just a point, leaving Group B wide open however, Demann was happy enough with taking something from the game and the team’s ability to work on their problems over the match.
“It was a tough match, Sweden is a very good team, they’ve been in an Olympic final so they’re very experienced. I think we played well in the second-half, we had a few problems in the first-half and after the break after we said what we had to do better, and overall we had a good match.”
Two sides that know each other almost intimately, the game loses no significance in Germany, the team aware they’re always going to be up against tough competition.
“I think Sweden is a very good team, the Olympic final was a very hard game and yesterday [in Breda] was very intense; Sweden are one of the favourites for the tournament so it was a very good match for us.”
Having taken over from Silvia Neid not too long ago, Steffi Jones is already making her mark as Germany coach, changing the way the team play and changing up the personnel, mass retirements a factor but not always the decisive one. Demann one of the less predictable names to make final 23 for the tournament, her fine form this season enough of an argument for her inclusion, and whilst the defender didn’t know if she’d be part of Jones’ plans she was certainly happy when she made the grade,
“To be called up for the tournament, I hoped so. I was very happy that I could play and that the coach gave me the opportunity. She trusts me to play so I just try to give my best for the team.”
Included not just in the squad but in the starting XI for the first match of the tournament for the Nationalelf, Demann admits she wasn’t expecting to be involved so soon but she was ready for the challenge,
“When I saw it on the screen I was happy and a bit nervous but they were positive nerves.”
Usually a centre-back, Demann was deployed in the defensive hole in front of experienced duo Babett Peter and Josi Henning, her adaptability a weapon in Germany’s armoury,
“It was fun to play there because I think we played very flexible, sometimes I was in the back[line] to try to open the game and sometimes I was in front of the defenders and that’s a good point of our system; our flexibility.”
Undisputed European champions, Germany have won the title on eight of their nine outings in the competition but the defender insists she, not the team feel pressure from the fans at home, but rather the expectation they put on themselves, the desire to win and insatiable one,
“I think it’s always our aim to win the tournament especially as we come here as the last winners. It’s pressure from ourselves; I don’t think anyone can put more pressure on us than us.”