2011 WOMEN’S WORLD CUP:GERMAN GIRLS TURN BOXERS FOR FALCONS
FIFA had always said that women are the future of football and they have in deed taken that hope to a different level, as the German national women football team has introduced a new dimension to their World Cup preparations.
Rather than give full concentration on the field of play, the German ladies have decided to get more physical as they look forward to meeting Africa's champion, the Super Falcons of Nigeria. To make good their bid to stay on top of their fitness, they have invaded boxing rings, a rather intriguing and interesting twist to getting ready for the coming international competition.
The team, coached by ex-international, Silvia Neid, has taken to the boxing gym like ducks to the pond, pounding bags and invariably declaring war on the Super Falcons of Nigeria and their other Group A opponents for the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup.
Apart from being the host country for the sixth edition of the championship, Germany, as the defending champion, is bent on retaining the trophy and the German girls believe that the best way to win the trophy back-to-back is by boxing their way into the competition starting from June 26. Coach Neid, no doubt, is fortifying her wards for the challenges ahead and may have deployed boxing as the ultimate form of building the muscles of the players in readiness for their Group A opponents comprising of Nigeria, Canada and France.
While some of the players pumped irons, skipped ropes and walked the thread mills in a gym in Frankfurt Main, attacking midfielder, Kim Kulig, Lena Goessling, Verna Farsst alongside Coach Neid, during the week, decked out in their boxing shoes and gloves, engaged themselves in a boxing bout aiming fierce punches at punching bags or rather, their imaginary opponents in the ring.
This revelation may be a crucial insight to the winning strategy of the Germans, who are two-time champions (2003 and 2007) and runners-up at the 1995 edition in Sweden, as well as the Beijing 2008 Olympic bronze medallists.
Nigeria's Super Falcons, champions of Africa in all their preparations, have not stepped foot into a gym even to walk on thread mills. The only form of preparations the technical crew is familiar with, is the one done on the field during morning or evening training hours, where players do stretches, run round the field for warm up exercises before taking positions to kick balls around with cones placed at strategic positions and at the end, return back to their hotels to start the same process all over again the next morning.
Now the Germans have taken to boxing as part of their preparations for the World Cup, who knows what Canada and France have up their sleeves. Maybe Canada is veering into weightlifting, while France, maybe kickboxing her way to Sinsheim, where the team would battle Falcons in their opening match on June 26.