Euro 2017: Manuela Zinsberger proud of team performance in maiden match

After Austria pulled off the upset for the first round of fixtures, claiming a win over Switzerland in their first ever Euro game, we spoke to shot-stopper, Manuela Zinsberger about the game, her coach and her clean sheet.

Years in the making

Well capable of playing beyond their means, Austria stormed out of the blocks against Switzerland, pinning them back and having the better of it from the outset. A calm finish from Nina Burger the only goal of a competitive opening round match, but for Zinsberger and her teammates the win is only the product of years of hard work,

“It’s unbelievable, I’m so proud that we’re going back to our hotel with three points in our luggage. It’s amazing to start a tournament, a big tournament where we participate for the first time ever, like this. All the hard work we put in over the last five years has paid off.

A vastly important factor in Austria’s rise has been the influence of coach, Dominik Thalhammer, his work with the senior team as well as juniors ensuring he can get them playing his way from early on. Thalhammer’s desire to take the team further a real driving force for Das Team,

Dominik isn’t only a good human being but a very good coach – as you saw – he’s known for his flexibility, how he handles the players and his work ethic. When something is perfect he wants to make even more perfect and have us take the next step – we take it all step by step – and he tries to pull everything out of us, every bit of performance we have in us and he’s doing great and we’re doing great because of him.

German gains

With the majority of the team playing across the Austro-German border, Zinsberger noted that the players who’ve played in the Frauen-Bundesliga have added to their game,

The experience we get in the German Bundesliga is very important, firstly from an athletic stand-point but also from a tactical stand-point. The game is faster, more physically competitive and it’s a very important step for players in Austria to reach the German Bundesliga.

Whilst her teammates were keeping Gaëlle Thalmann busy, Zinsberger was mostly tasked with claiming crosses and tame efforts, her moment of the match to keep her clean sheet and ensure Austria scooped all three points a fine acrobatic fingertip save to deny Ramona Bachmann late in the game. The save, whilst spectacular, was nothing out of the ordinary for the ‘keeper who just wanted to help her team to their much deserved win,

Nina’s goal was an important as much save, I wanted to help the team get the three points because they all worked so hard for it. When the ball passes the defenders and I’m the only one left so I have to be able to do my job and help my team out.