Whites in Europe

Tuesday 15 January 2002

Whilst most Whites fans are dreaming of European football next season, the ladies team kick started the club's European campaign early with a fantastic performance in an indoor 5-a-side tournament in Germany.

The ladies eventually finished runners up after going down 3-2 in the final to Frankfurt, who are currently in the quarter final of the UEFA cup.

"I'm delighted with how the team performed," said manager Gaute Haugenes. "The standard was extremely high and to get to the final is a great achievement."

The 2 day tournament held in Bielefield, northern Germany, featured 10 of the best teams from Scandinavia and Germany. It was the first time an English team had been invited to take part- a fact which made the teams' performance all the more impressive.

"They were surprised just how good we were," said Gaute. "We acted as ambassadors for English football and it's good for the game that we did well," he said.

"There is no doubt that this tournament is the best indoor tournament in Europe. Over forty international players took part from all over the world and it's a great honor for Fulham to be invited.

"The tournament was run superbly and I can't speak highly enough of the people who organised it. Olaf Beugholt and his team, which included 70 volunteers, were very kind to us and if we can we'll definitely be going back next year."

The 10 teams were split into two leagues with the top two going through to the semi finals. Fulham won 3 of their league games and qualified second behind eventual winners Frankfurt. The ladies then beat German side FFC Heike Rheine 4-2 in the semi final, before going down 3-2 to Frankfurt in the final, in front of 1500 people.

"It was a very close game," said Gaute. "We had chances to win it but in the end it was not to be. It's always disappointing to lose in a final but at the same time I'm very proud of the way the team performed."

Fulham's Norwegian striker Marianne Pettersen finished joint top goalscorer in the competition with 6 goals. Other goalscorers were Margunn Haugenes (5), Mary Philip (2), Lene Terp, Katie Chapman, Sanchia Duncan and Kristy Moore.

The ladies' next game is the eagerly anticipated league cup semi final against Arsenal this Wednesday, January 16, 2001. The match is being played at Kingfield Stadium, home of Woking FC, kick off 7.45pm. Your support would be much appreciated...