The Euro 2009 Championships have begun.Some of the biggest names in women’s football are taking part. Here at Womans Soccer Insider we take a look at the nations , their star /key players and brightest new talent. Who will end up in WPS. Can anyone stop the Germans? We will give you our thoughts and more over the course of the Championships.I hope you are all getting a chance to catch some of the matches and talent on show.
The Netherlands were among the stronger nations in the early days of European competitions for women and, after recovering from a period of struggle, they have reached the final tournament for the first time.
10TH in Europe , 17th in the World.The Dutch made it through their qualifying group.
With the domestic game improved by the formation of a women's Eredivisie backed by clubs including AZ Alkmaar, the Netherlands finished second in their group behind Switzerland before collecting a pair of 2-0 play-off wins against Spain, a team they had never previously beaten.
Before the two games against Spain, the Netherlands were outsiders to qualify, especially with star striker Manon Melis injured. But in Madrid they withstood a first-half barrage before getting the goals to get through.
Coach Vera Pauw has long been a ground-breaker in Dutch female football and has now become the first coach to lead the Netherlands to a senior women's finals.She is highly regarded internationally as a coach, and in May 2005 she was the first woman to complete the KNVB's CBV coaching diploma, earning her the UEFA Pro Licence. She has worked as a technical observer at major events including UEFA WOMEN'S EURO 2005™ and is a member of the UEFA Women's Football Committee.
She was previously coach and Technical director of the Scotland Women’s national team.
The Dutch play the way their men's team play as in “Total Football”.
Manon Melis (Key Player)
Melis is the Netherlands top goalscorer. She is a true striker. Has a nose for goal.
At just only 23 years old she has 56 caps and 20 goals for her country.
In the eight qualifying matches Melis scored 7 goals.
She is fast closing in on Marjoke de Bakker's all-time record of 28 Netherlands goals.
Struck twice on her 50th Netherlands appearance in the 5-0 win over South Africa at the Cyprus Women's Cup in March, finishing atop the tournament's scoring chart alongside Canada's Christine Sinclair.
Currently plays for Swedish club Malmo FF in the Damallsvenskan.
Was joint top scorer in the league with 23 goals with Brazilian international Marta.
Was the clubs player of the year.
Karin Stevens (Fresh Face)
20 year old Stevens was the hero of the play-off win against Spain – scoring three of her team's goals in the 4-0 aggregate success.
She played in all of the qualifying matches scoring 4 goals.
Stevens is an attacking midfielder who can also play upfront. Her best assets are her ball skills and her ability to take players on. At her best when running towards goal.
Stevens has 31 caps and 16 goals for her country.
She made her debut for the national team in 2006 while still playing for a boys team.
In 2007 she joined William II in the new women’s Premier league.The Eredivisie.
That season she was the leagues top scorer with 20 goals and was voted 3rd in the Best Player of the year.
Many clubs across Europe have expressed an interest in Stevens and are watching her in the Euro’s very closely. The big stage is there for the taking.