Herdman shows belief in Canada 2014 squad

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There will be one individual in the stands at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Canada 2014 with a different interest in how the Canadian team performs. That person is John Herdman, the coach of Canada’s women’s national team.

Herdman is well aware of the potential launching pad the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup can become for a player’s career.

After all, some of the key members on his squad – including stars like Christine Sinclair and Erin McLeod – have played in this competition over the years.

Fans will have several reasons to attend the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup from 5-24 August, including a highly affordable ticket start price of $10. Host Canada will open the festivities against Ghana on 5 August and hopefully be around for the final three weeks later. The four host cities are: Edmonton, Alberta; Toronto, Ontario; Montréal, Québec; and Moncton, New Brunswick.

“This squad (has) homegrown and local girls from the Toronto area, so that’s motivation to get your young daughter off the couch and into the stands here to see where they could be in 10-15 years’ time,” said Herdman. “That would be my motivation as a parent, to inspire those young children with what the world can present them with if they get the passion and motivation to see it in action.”

Building for the Future
Canada is producing some high quality players at an impressive rate who will surely impact this competition, but also potentially alter the county’s chances at the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015™ hosted in six cities next year. Led by the leadership of U-20 coach Andrew Olivieri, the Canadian squad will have at their disposal several players with national “A” experience.

“It’s something Canada can get excited about,” said Herdman. “Our system produces players for the women’s national team and we’ve ticked some boxes there already. You don’t get these opportunities (to host a FIFA Women’s World Cup) in your lifetime very often. I know Andrew Olivieri is very serious about making Canada proud and we definitely have players that can do that.”

Young Stars Receiving Valuable Experience
Among the players who could have an impact at this year’s competition include centre backs Kadeisha Buchanan and Rebecca Quinn as well as fullback Sura Yekka. All three have started in Canada’s last two home international matches in May (Winnipeg) and June (Vancouver) with coach Herdman. That trio, along with midfielders Jessie Fleming and Ashley Lawrence who also played for Herdman, are now in camp in Burnaby with U-20 coach Olivieri.

Herdman believes the fans will make the tournament special, but also emphasized that he wants to make sure all the participants enjoy themselves and soak up the experience that 2014 will have to offer.

“This is a strong team,” said Herdman. “There’s no hiding from that. It’s a team that should do well in its home country. You genuinely have a group here that you can get behind that could go all the way and it might be about the support they get that pushes them over the edge. I’m hoping that the local cities and towns can give us a dress rehearsal to what the Women’s World Cup is going to feel like.”

For more information on the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Canada 2014 – including match schedule, tournament news, and ticketing information – please visit FIFA.com/Canada2014.

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