Olympique Lyonnais Féminin
Dickenmann: Qualifying would be a dream
“Being able to travel through time”, was the answer Lara Dickenmann posted on her website when asked which superpower she would most like to have. And were this not beyond the realm of possibility, the midfielder’s first port of call would probably be this time next year, to see whether her country had qualified for the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015™.
The Swiss are not currently in danger of missing out on women’s football’s flagship event, however, and remain firmly on course to qualify for their first-ever Women’s World Cup in North America next summer. In fact, the Eidgenossen are yet to lose a match in their qualifying campaign and occupy pole position in Group 3 after six matches. Their progress might have surprised many, but Dickenmann believes several key factors easily explain her country’s recent success.
“We have a very good coach and fantastic staff at our disposal,” Dickenmann explained in an exclusive interview with FIFA.com. ”Our previous coach was also very good, but now we have someone at the helm with international experience, great knowledge of the game and who has that German mentality. We can really go places with Martina Voss-Tecklenburg in charge.” 
“The training centre we’ve had in Huttwil since 2004 is also of paramount importance. Lots of the good players who were developed there are now part of the national team set-up. We also have a lot of players who went to play overseas at a young age, where they train and play at a very high level on a daily basis.”
Dickenmann is one of those players who ventured abroad at an early age, the midfielder crossing the Atlantic in 2006 to play for USA side New Jersey Wildcats before later joining Jersey Sky Blue and Ohio State Buckeyes. The 28-year-old signed for French giants Lyon in October 2008 and has since helped the club to an impressive trophy haul of five league titles, two Cups and two UEFA Women’s Champions Leagues.
Leadership qualities honed at LyonDickenmann has also put in some wonderful performances in the red of the Nati, including her all-important equaliser in the 1-1 draw with Denmark and an impressive hat-trick in the 11-0 demolition of Malta propelling the Swiss towards their maiden Women’s World Cup appearance.  
“I’ve gained a lot of important experience from playing my club football at Olympique Lyon,” said Dickenmann. “Winning prestigious titles such as the Champions League gives you a lot of self-confidence. The path to such titles is very specific, but it’s a path you can learn to navigate. I want to pass this experience onto the Swiss national team now.
“There are three or four key players who automatically step up to the plate for Switzerland. I didn’t use to find that so easy. Now I have a much greater awareness of what I can say and how I can react in certain situations. The hierarchy that we now have in the Nati is very good. My role came about quite automatically. I don’t have to adapt in any way and I’m happy about that.”
Dickenmann’s leadership qualities will certainly be in great demand in the coming months as Switzerland look to maintain their lead in Group 3 and book their place at the Women’s World Cup finals at the expense of their competitors.
'We still have a long way to go'“The next crucial fixture is against Iceland (on 8 May) and we’ll need to be just as well prepared as we were against Denmark,” Dickenmann said confidently. “It’ll be a tough match, but it’s one that we naturally want to win as the home team. We’d also hoped to secure three points against the Danes, though I think that we can live with the 1-1 draw.
"Now we want to get back to winning ways. I always take one game at a time and the next match is always the most important. We’re now all back on club duty and I’m just hoping that we don’t pick up any injuries. We’ll prepare ourselves well and we’ll go into the match with the best possible chance of picking up all three points.”
Boarding the plane to next summer’s finals in Canada would be “an absolute dream come true” for Dickenmann, but the midfielder is well aware of the size of task facing the Swiss in the remainder of their qualifying campaign. Nevertheless, she remains convinced that the Nati have the potential to compete with the top nations in women’s football in the near future.
“There’s definitely still a long way to go in Switzerland,” Dickenmann explained. “It’s important that we manage to qualify for a major tournament this time around. We’re still about five years behind countries like France when it comes to football. The French national team frequently play in front of crowds of around 15,000 spectators. That didn’t use to be the case, but they regularly qualified for the major tournaments and picked up good results. This progress served to increase the interest in women’s football and that’s important.
“We know that the first step for us must be to qualify for a major tournament. Perhaps such a positive development will increase the interest in women’s football in Switzerland. These things don’t just happen overnight. For now we’ll just try to make it to the World Cup and to continue down that path. And who knows? Maybe we’ll end up being one of the regulars at the finals. That’d certainly change a few things.”

Dickenmann: Qualifying would be a dream

“Being able to travel through time”, was the answer Lara Dickenmann posted on her website when asked which superpower she would most like to have. And were this not beyond the realm of possibility, the midfielder’s first port of call would probably be this time next year, to see whether her country had qualified for the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015™.

The Swiss are not currently in danger of missing out on women’s football’s flagship event, however, and remain firmly on course to qualify for their first-ever Women’s World Cup in North America next summer. In fact, the Eidgenossen are yet to lose a match in their qualifying campaign and occupy pole position in Group 3 after six matches. Their progress might have surprised many, but Dickenmann believes several key factors easily explain her country’s recent success.

“We have a very good coach and fantastic staff at our disposal,” Dickenmann explained in an exclusive interview with FIFA.com. ”Our previous coach was also very good, but now we have someone at the helm with international experience, great knowledge of the game and who has that German mentality. We can really go places with Martina Voss-Tecklenburg in charge.” 

“The training centre we’ve had in Huttwil since 2004 is also of paramount importance. Lots of the good players who were developed there are now part of the national team set-up. We also have a lot of players who went to play overseas at a young age, where they train and play at a very high level on a daily basis.”

Dickenmann is one of those players who ventured abroad at an early age, the midfielder crossing the Atlantic in 2006 to play for USA side New Jersey Wildcats before later joining Jersey Sky Blue and Ohio State Buckeyes. The 28-year-old signed for French giants Lyon in October 2008 and has since helped the club to an impressive trophy haul of five league titles, two Cups and two UEFA Women’s Champions Leagues.

Leadership qualities honed at Lyon
Dickenmann has also put in some wonderful performances in the red of the Nati, including her all-important equaliser in the 1-1 draw with Denmark and an impressive hat-trick in the 11-0 demolition of Malta propelling the Swiss towards their maiden Women’s World Cup appearance.  

“I’ve gained a lot of important experience from playing my club football at Olympique Lyon,” said Dickenmann. “Winning prestigious titles such as the Champions League gives you a lot of self-confidence. The path to such titles is very specific, but it’s a path you can learn to navigate. I want to pass this experience onto the Swiss national team now.

“There are three or four key players who automatically step up to the plate for Switzerland. I didn’t use to find that so easy. Now I have a much greater awareness of what I can say and how I can react in certain situations. The hierarchy that we now have in the Nati is very good. My role came about quite automatically. I don’t have to adapt in any way and I’m happy about that.”

Dickenmann’s leadership qualities will certainly be in great demand in the coming months as Switzerland look to maintain their lead in Group 3 and book their place at the Women’s World Cup finals at the expense of their competitors.

'We still have a long way to go'
“The next crucial fixture is against Iceland (on 8 May) and we’ll need to be just as well prepared as we were against Denmark,” Dickenmann said confidently. “It’ll be a tough match, but it’s one that we naturally want to win as the home team. We’d also hoped to secure three points against the Danes, though I think that we can live with the 1-1 draw.

"Now we want to get back to winning ways. I always take one game at a time and the next match is always the most important. We’re now all back on club duty and I’m just hoping that we don’t pick up any injuries. We’ll prepare ourselves well and we’ll go into the match with the best possible chance of picking up all three points.”

Boarding the plane to next summer’s finals in Canada would be “an absolute dream come true” for Dickenmann, but the midfielder is well aware of the size of task facing the Swiss in the remainder of their qualifying campaign. Nevertheless, she remains convinced that the Nati have the potential to compete with the top nations in women’s football in the near future.

“There’s definitely still a long way to go in Switzerland,” Dickenmann explained. “It’s important that we manage to qualify for a major tournament this time around. We’re still about five years behind countries like France when it comes to football. The French national team frequently play in front of crowds of around 15,000 spectators. That didn’t use to be the case, but they regularly qualified for the major tournaments and picked up good results. This progress served to increase the interest in women’s football and that’s important.

“We know that the first step for us must be to qualify for a major tournament. Perhaps such a positive development will increase the interest in women’s football in Switzerland. These things don’t just happen overnight. For now we’ll just try to make it to the World Cup and to continue down that path. And who knows? Maybe we’ll end up being one of the regulars at the finals. That’d certainly change a few things.”

OL Féminin 6-0 Montpellier HSC

Olympique Lyonnais 6-0 Montpellier HSC
Goals by Louisa Nécib, Jennifer Beattie (o.g.), Eugénie Le Sommer, Elodie Thomis and Camille Abily

Behind the scenes of the April chat with Louisa Necib, Wendie Renard and Elodie Thomis.

To read some of the questions and their answers in English, click here.


Eugénie Le Sommer, Sarah Bouhaddi and Camille Abily with next season’s OL jersey. Photo from Camille Abily.

Eugénie Le Sommer, Sarah Bouhaddi and Camille Abily with next season’s OL jersey. 
Photo from Camille Abily.

Olympique Lyonnais 6-0 Montpellier HSC
Photos by Damien LG.


Sarah Bouhaddi and Louisa Necib at today’s game against MHSC.Photo by Alex Ortega.

Sarah Bouhaddi and Louisa Necib at today’s game against MHSC.
Photo by Alex Ortega.

Lyon qualify for cup semifinals with 6-0 win
Just days after the announcement that head coach Patrice Lair will leave the club at the end of the season, the OL Féminin players clearly decided to pay tribute to their coach as they defeated Montpellier HSC 6-0 in the cup quarterfinals. Louisa Necib opened the scoring early in the first half assisted by Camille Abily, before an own goal from Jennifer Beattie made the half time score 2-0.
In the second half, Eugénie Le Sommer capitalized within the first minute to add to her team’s lead, before Elodie Thomis scored a brace. Camille Abily concluded the scoring in the 66th minute when she placed 6-0 in the back of the net. Lyon will play ASJ Soyaux-Charente, who narrowly defeated FC Vendenheim 3-2 earlier today, in the semifinals on May 11. Lineup: Bouhaddi – Franco, Kumagai, Renard, Dickenmann (Majri 55’) – Bussaglia (Plaza 66’), Henry, Abily – Thomis (Tonazzi 62’), Le Sommer, Necib.
Goals: Necib (11’), Beattie o.g. (26’), Le Sommer (46’), Thomis (52’, 62’), Abily (66’).
Statistics: 17 shots (11 on target) for OL; 12 shots (1 on target) for MHSC.

Lyon qualify for cup semifinals with 6-0 win

Just days after the announcement that head coach Patrice Lair will leave the club at the end of the season, the OL Féminin players clearly decided to pay tribute to their coach as they defeated Montpellier HSC 6-0 in the cup quarterfinals. Louisa Necib opened the scoring early in the first half assisted by Camille Abily, before an own goal from Jennifer Beattie made the half time score 2-0.

In the second half, Eugénie Le Sommer capitalized within the first minute to add to her team’s lead, before Elodie Thomis scored a brace. Camille Abily concluded the scoring in the 66th minute when she placed 6-0 in the back of the net. Lyon will play ASJ Soyaux-Charente, who narrowly defeated FC Vendenheim 3-2 earlier today, in the semifinals on May 11. 

Lineup: Bouhaddi – Franco, Kumagai, Renard, Dickenmann (Majri 55’) – Bussaglia (Plaza 66’), Henry, Abily – Thomis (Tonazzi 62’), Le Sommer, Necib.

Goals: Necib (11’), Beattie o.g. (26’), Le Sommer (46’), Thomis (52’, 62’), Abily (66’).

Statistics: 17 shots (11 on target) for OL; 12 shots (1 on target) for MHSC.

I heard Schelin missed the match today due to injury, any news on how long she will be out for?
Anonymous

There is no information about Lotta Schelin being injured. She did miss today’s match, but whether she is ill or injured is anyone’s guess.

Patrice Lair ahead of Montpellier
The coach of the women’s OL gives us his thoughts on the quarter-final of the Coupe de France, and his departure from the club at the end of the season.
Patrice, explain to us why you are leaving OL at the end of the season?It has been in the air for a little while. There has perhaps been a little fatigue and a little less motivation. We must be realistic, our plan has probably not been going so well, especially since the defeat at Potsdam. I discussed this with Presiding Aulas, I did not want to stay another year. But do not think that it is easy to leave. If I spent another 4 years at OL, they would have included great moments.
What conclusions do you draw from your time at the club?I am leaving with a positive balance. I was given a number of goals, I met them all. I have a particular way of working but I do not cheat. I always gave the best of myself, with my qualities and my defects. My biggest moment may be the unofficial World Champion title that we won in Japan, because they gave everything to win that trophy. I remember breaking down and crying in the locker room after the final. There is of course also the two Champions League titles which remain very powerful moments.
How will you manage the team at the end of this season?You have to think about winning the double for the club. We have the potential, the players, the team to do it. Even if there is fatigue, one must be able to surpass themself to beat Montpellier and go to the end. I will do all I can and I hope the girls will too.
How do you see your future?I hope someone will give me as much ambition and motivation as President Aulas did when he found me in Africa. I need a challenge, something motivating to express my qualities as a coach.

Patrice Lair ahead of Montpellier

The coach of the women’s OL gives us his thoughts on the quarter-final of the Coupe de France, and his departure from the club at the end of the season.

Patrice, explain to us why you are leaving OL at the end of the season?
It has been in the air for a little while. There has perhaps been a little fatigue and a little less motivation. We must be realistic, our plan has probably not been going so well, especially since the defeat at Potsdam. I discussed this with Presiding Aulas, I did not want to stay another year. But do not think that it is easy to leave. If I spent another 4 years at OL, they would have included great moments.

What conclusions do you draw from your time at the club?
I am leaving with a positive balance. I was given a number of goals, I met them all. I have a particular way of working but I do not cheat. I always gave the best of myself, with my qualities and my defects. My biggest moment may be the unofficial World Champion title that we won in Japan, because they gave everything to win that trophy. I remember breaking down and crying in the locker room after the final. There is of course also the two Champions League titles which remain very powerful moments.

How will you manage the team at the end of this season?
You have to think about winning the double for the club. We have the potential, the players, the team to do it. Even if there is fatigue, one must be able to surpass themself to beat Montpellier and go to the end. I will do all I can and I hope the girls will too.

How do you see your future?
I hope someone will give me as much ambition and motivation as President Aulas did when he found me in Africa. I need a challenge, something motivating to express my qualities as a coach.

sophiedrx:

France vs. Austria , WWC2015 Qualif. - 2014-04-09

© Sophie Durieux for Pitchside Report 

Highlights: France 3-1 Austria
Goals by Elise Bussaglia, Marie-Laure Delie, Elodie Thomis and Sarah Puntingam

Training with the French goalkeepers on April 8, 2014.

Patrice Lair quits Lyon
Olympique Lyonnais have announced that Patrice Lair will leave the team on June 30th. Lair has coached the team for the past four years. They have won the league every year since his arrival, as well as two Champions League titles, and two cup titles. 

Patrice Lair quits Lyon

Olympique Lyonnais have announced that Patrice Lair will leave the team on June 30th. Lair has coached the team for the past four years. They have won the league every year since his arrival, as well as two Champions League titles, and two cup titles. 

Do you know if Eurosport will be showing the OL-MHSC match on Sunday?
Anonymous

OL-MHSC is being played at Plaine des Jeux (televised matches are played at Stade de Gerland), and there has been no information about it being televised on Eurosport or anywhere else, unfortunately.