Zitka Klimkova took charge of the New Zealand women’s team in September
He wants Football Ferns Host a show of progress and co-hosts of the World Cup
His disciples will face the United States, Iceland and his home country the Czech Republic in the next Sheffields Cup.
New Zealand coach Zitka Klimkova is not the only person to have to communicate during epidemics. But for her, this distance is more than not going to the office: it has to be out of the country.
Due to the strict regulations and strict border controls imposed by Govt-19, in September last year, Klimkova was unable to set foot in the “land of long white clouds”. But the recent relaxation of these restrictions and the adaptive approach to dealing with the initial difficulties it has experienced give the Czech team plenty of reason to be confident.
Klimkova, who worked mainly from the Czech Republic, 18,000 kilometers away, said, “There is already a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel to get into New Zealand.” Instead of making too many zoom calls, I like to go to the office and be there to meet people in person, but one thing I learned during these epidemics was, Being adaptable, focusing on controlling what I control and being willing to change my plans.
“Restrictions have made things so unpredictable that it is impossible for people to enter New Zealand and it is very difficult for people to leave the country. When we went to play in Canada last year, no one from New Zealand was there, so we had to create a cadre with people we trust,” he said. He recalled.
“Fortunately, we performed very well in those games, and even when we went to Korea. [para disputar los siguientes amistosos, en noviembre]. Otherwise we will start preparations right away and since the lessons learned from them will be gone, I am very happy to accept the situation as it is and take the risk in playing them.
The main lesson of the Canada-Korea meetings was to change Klimkova’s style. The 47-year-old coach, who has managed the youth teams of the United States, New Zealand and the Czech Republic and won the A-League title with the Canberra United team, has expressed his desire. Football Ferns Be very bold and courageous in their approach. However, the traditional focus on strength and being a tough team to defeat is not going to happen overnight.
“It’s about changing the mood and making the players understand that, as much as possible, we want to keep the ball and control the game,” he explains. “We are not naive. We know we have to be ready to cross the stages without possessing the ball against some opponents and be ready for a counter-attack because the changes are quick.” “We have to be very consistent defensive and strong in each other’s actions. But the players are eager to get it and want to take the initiative, and I think they’re ready to act on it.
“Of course there are still things to work on. In our first game, against Canada, the players were excited and ready to embrace this new approach, but when we lowered the score we could see them playing defensively again. The game we wanted to use was missing. But we needed that lesson, In the next game [contra el mismo rival] It was already possible to see that it was completely different, and that was reflected in the end [una ajustada derrota por 1-0, tras haber perdido 5-1 el choque anterior]”.
“It’s positive for footballers to see what happens when they play unbeaten, and then the difference in playing for success. They need to see that going to win gives us more chances in these games and convincing themselves. It may take a while, but I’m a very patient coach and I will not give up. I promise, no matter who we play against, New Zealand is the winning team.
The truth is, winning is not a habitual feeling Ferns In recent years, Korea has had a great 2-0 victory over the Republic –Second place in the recent Women’s Asian Cup– In his last match he worked more than ending a series of eight consecutive defeats. “It’s a reward for the players, the dedication they show and their involvement in the football we love to play,” Klimkova said.
The same players that New Zealand will take part in and their coach’s new tactical approach will be tested in three strong challenges next week. Sheepleaves Cup. The small league technique of touching them is also of personal importance Kiwis They will play against the Czech Republic, USA and Iceland.
“There are many people I have a relationship with in the United States and of course, playing against the Czech Republic would be very special for me,” he admits. “My country is a team I have played and coached in, so it would be wonderful to play against them for New Zealand in such a valuable tournament. We are very happy to participate and this is the perfect type of test to go to the World Cup.
New Zealand matches in the Sheepleaves
Against Iceland (February 18)
Against the United States (February 20)
Against the Czech Republic (February 23)
See you in 2023 and beyond
The World Cup, co-hosted by Australia next year, is not far off the minds of New Zealand players. But for all the exciting and great opportunities of the World Cup to take place domestically, there is pressure on the team and the person who manages it as a whole nation to have its confidence. John Hertman The Described as “suffocation” When Canada hosted the tournament in 2015, Klimkova knew the importance of making sure his players did not feel the same weight.
“We have been working hard to plan for the entire cycle until the World Cup, and one of the main things we focus on is the pressure of being a host team,” he admits. “We’ll see how to deal with it in a positive way, because that pressure can be a privilege, but we also know that it has the potential to destroy all the good work we do in production. You can go out and do whatever it takes to get the league.
To qualify for that group stage, New Zealand must, of course, do what they have failed to do in the previous five Women’s World Cups: to win one match. However, putting an end to that long wait is frustrating for players who are the country’s footballing authorities, while at the same time optimistic about the opportunities. FernsThey look beyond 2023. That vision and long-term commitment is reflected in the length of Klimkova’s contract, and the coach is delighted with the news of the six-year signing.
“It means a lot to me,” he says. “I think it’s very good to think New Zealand football for a long time, and now we are focusing more on the young players we hope to have with us on this journey. We need to start planning beyond 2023.
“I see great potential in New Zealand women’s football and I am very happy to be given this opportunity. Being the co-organizers of the World Cup has been a huge challenge and a huge responsibility. But in 2013 and 2014, the ability to work with players was the biggest motivation for me. [como seleccionadora nacional femenina sub-17]And watching Ferns. So I had the feeling that New Zealand could accomplish a lot of things like I do now. For me, it is a privilege to be able to contribute so much. ”
Images courtesy of Photosport
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