Cyprus under-17 coach Renos Demetriades says his players are totally focused on qualifying to the Elite Round of the UEFA European Under-17 Championship as they take on Norway today in the Paphos village of Kouklia.
Cyprus will be hosting Group 8 which also features Spain and Moldova – who kick-off the other game at the Pafiakos Stadium.
“Despite the fact that the league season has only just started in Cyprus, I believe that we are ready for the tough games ahead”, commented Demetriades. “We have been working hard ahead of this qualifying round and we have played some high quality opponents in friendlies. We really want to qualify and all the hard work has been geared towards achieving that goal.”
Demetriades – who replaced Yiannos Stavrinou last month – saw his defeat the Norwegians 1-0 during a friendly in Poland back on August 28 but has told his players to expect a different game come today.
“We know them and they know us but an official game is very different to a friendly. The first games are always the toughest and can define how a team does in the group. Right now, we are only thinking about the game against Norway and beating them.”
The former Olympiakos Nicosia boss also called on the home fans to turn up and cheer on his young players at the Kouklia Municipal Stadium today at 3.30pm.
“The fans will get the chance to see these young players in action against top sides. The young Cypriots will one day be playing for the senior team. I hope they come and support them because they will need it.”
Meanwhile, the Cyprus under-19s women secured a 1-1 draw against Wales in midweek to keep alive their slim chances of progressing to the Elite Round of the UEFA European Women’s Under-19 Championship.
Apollon Limassol’s Victoria’s Zamba scored her second goal of the tournament in the draw against Wales after previously registering for Cyprus in their opening 7-1 loss to Russia. Cyprus take on Group 5 hosts Belarus needing a victory to keep alive what little hope they have of reaching the next round.

Cyprus Weekly

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