GB's opponents react to draw

The opponents of Team GB's men and women's teams say they will rise to the challenge against what they feel is the best team at the Games.


Hope Powell's women's team will kick off the Games against New Zealand in Group E at Cardiff's Millennium stadium on July 25 while Stuart Pearce's side will face play-off qualifiers Senegal at Old Trafford (pictured) a day later.

Tony Readings, New Zealand Head Coach, believes his side are in for a huge test against a familiar foe in Powell, whose England side beat the Kiwis 2-1 at the 2011 World Cup.

He said: "With Hope as coach, we know they're going to be really organised and we know her teams always perform well. We love playing against the best in the world and we're going up against that in Team GB.

"It would be one of the one's that we wouldn't mind playing second time around so we know a bit more about them.

"It'll be a bit of bigger occasion and we need to manage that, but it's going to be great to be part of the opening game against Team GB."

Carl Enow Ngachu, coach of Cameroon, GB's women's second opponents, agrees but thinks they have a chance.

He said: "Team GB is one of the best in Europe and one of the best in the World. I think I can't give my game-plan now but if we prepare properly, then we will cause them problems."

Former Portsmouth player Aliou Cisse, who is part of Senegal's coaching staff, is delighted to be playing Team GB first in Manchester in the opening Group A fixture.

He said: "We know that England is a very big football country where there is much tradition and everyone follows it.

"Good football flows through the generations of British people. It is going to be very difficult for us to play against the organising team but we will do everything we can and play hard."

Mahdi Ali, coach of Group A minnows UAE, is looking forward to his side giving a good account of themselves in the summer.

He said: "We are very happy to be playing Team GB here and I think it will be a very strong and interesting game, especially as GB is the hosting team.

"GB is the hosting team and we will do our best to get the result. UAE is a very small country in size and we can show the world what we can do."

View Comments