Because this is a Women’s World Cup year, I have decided to countdown to the tournament by providing a short soccer/fitness related preview of each of the 24 participating nations. In this instalment, I will look at Norway, who is making their seventh appearance at the Women’s World Cup (they have qualified for every instalment of the tournament to date). Former World Cup Champions in 1995, Norway have been drawn in Group B, along with Germany, Cote D’Ivoire, and Thailand. They will play their first match against Thailand on Sunday, June 7th, 2015.
The Norwegian team is unique not only because they are previous winners of the Women’s World Cup, but also because of their coach, Even Pelerud. He was previously the head coach of the Norwegian team in their most successful period in the 1990’s, when they finished in second place in 1991 and then when they won the tournament in 1995. Following that, he was also head coach of the Women’s National Teams for both Trinidad and Tobago, and the host country Canada. He returned to become the new head coach for Norway in 2012, and steered them through a dominant qualifying campaign, where they won the first 9 of their 10 matches, topping their group and scoring 41 goals while conceding only 6.
While Norway is not among the top favourites to win the tournament this year, the fact that they have a coach with so much Women’s World Cup experience and success in his resume may prove decisive if they escape the group stage. Coaches with experience can add a level of confidence to players before big matches, and the players may also be able to draw on this experience to help motivate them during difficult periods of a match. Can the coach’s experience make a strong Norwegian team even stronger and help them to win the tournament for a second time? We will have to wait and see what happens in 1 month’s time.
I’d love to hear your thoughts about this topic. Drop me a line here to get the conversation started.