by Jean-Pierre Thiesset (3/7/22).
Above: The Belgian team that started the match against England in Wolverhampton last week. Photo: Belgian Red Flames.
The Belgium women’s national football team is known or nicknamed as the ‘Red Flames’ and currently stand in 20th place in FIFA Women’s World Rankings.
Goalkeepers: Nicky Evrard, Diede Lemey, Lisa Litchfus.
Defenders: Laura Deloose, Laura De Neve, Sari Kees, Davina Philtjens, Charlotte Tison, Amber Tysiak, Jody Vangheluwe.
Midfielders: Julie Biesmans, Feli Delacauw, Marie Minnaert, Kassandra Missipo, Justine Vanhaevermaet.
Forwards: Janice Cayman, Tine De Cainy, Elena Dhont, Hannah Eurlings, Davinia Vanmechelen, Ella Van Kerkhoven, Sarah Wijnants, Tessa Wullaert.
The Head Coach:
Ives Serneels, a Belgian native is 49-years-old and has been in charge of the Red Flames since June 2011. Serneels was a defender throughout his playing career which was spent playing for Lierse SK (where he won the Belgian First Division, FA Cup and Super Cup), Westerlo (winning the Belgian FA Cup once more), Denderleeuw, and KFC Dessel Sport in Belgium. He began his coaching career at his final playing club in 2003 before also going on to lead Bercham Sport and both Lierse SK’s youth and women’s teams. Serneels led Belgium to their first European Championships in 2017.
It is only the second time that Belgium have qualified for the Euros. Their first time was the previous competition in 2017. They began with a 1-0 defeat to Denmark before gaining an excellent win over Norway. Defeat to big rivals the Netherlands in the final group game, 2-1, ensured that Belgium went out at the group stage after finishing third.
Belgium qualified by winning Group H after recording a record of seven wins and one loss – a 2-1 defeat away to Switzerland, who finished second. The qualifying campaign included 9-0 and 6-0 wins over Lithuania and 6-1 wins over both Romania and Croatia.
With their key players having played domestic competitions outside of Belgium, they are a true group who are very well organized and will fight until the end.
There is a lack of depth in terms of top-level international experience. Several players will play in the Euros for the first time: Lichtfus, Kees, Tison, Tysiak, Vangheluwe, Delacauw, Minnaert, Missipo, Vanhaevermaet, Dhont, Eurlings, Wijnants, and Van Kerkhoven. They need to gain in maturity against opponents who are used to playing at the highest level both domestically and internationally.
Janice Cayman: 33 years old, 124 caps, 47 goals, Belgium ‘Soulier d’Or’ winner in 2021. Playing her club football in France with Olympique Lyonaise, Cayman won D1 Arkema Championship, and UEFA Women Champion’s League in 2022. She mostly plays in attack for Belgium but can also play in defence as she did several times with Lyon.
Tessa Wullaert: 29 years old, 99 caps, 50 goals. Wulleart has experience playing as a forward for two of Europe’s top clubs – Wolfsburg (2015-2018), and Manchester City, England (2018-2020). She is now back in Belgium playing for Anderlecht.
Laura De Neve: 27 years old, 44 caps, two goals. De Neve has played for Anderlecht since 2012 and now has an important partnership with Tessa Wulleart for both club and country.
Tine De Caigny: The young star of Belgian football. De Caigny is 24 years old, with 62 caps and 26 goals. She plays for Hoffenheim in Germany. The Belgium ‘Soulier d’Or’ winner in 2020, she continues to progress year after year.
One to watch:
Hannah Eurlings. At just 19 years old, she holds 15 caps already, and has four international goals to her name. Eurlings has played her club football at Leuven since 2019. She is a young forward player with a lot of potential according to her teammates.
With Belgium in a group along with France (third FIFA ranking), Italy (14th FIFA ranking), and Iceland (18th FIFA ranking), Belgium will have hopes of finishing second and making the Quarter-Finals. Personally, I think they can do it and that their key players are good enough to produce an outstanding performance against Italy which will be the key to getting out of this group.
10th July: Iceland, 5pm, Academy Stadium, Manchester.
14th July: France, 8pm, New York Stadium, Rotherham.
18th July: Italy, 8pm, Academy Stadium, Manchester.
Impetus is previewing a different nation every day between now and the start of the European Championships. Click below to read the previously published articles:
FRANCE – by Jean-Pierre Thiesset: https://impetusfootball.org/2022/06/25/euros-preview-france/
AUSTRIA – by Jorge Ceron: https://impetusfootball.org/2022/06/26/euros-preview-austria/
GERMANY – by Johnathan Stack: https://impetusfootball.org/2022/06/27/euros-preview-germany/
ICELAND – by Kris Goman: https://impetusfootball.org/2022/06/28/euros-preview-iceland/
SPAIN – by Nathan Edwards: https://impetusfootball.org/2022/06/29/euros-preview-spain/
FINLAND – by Jean-Pierre Thiesset: https://impetusfootball.org/2022/06/30/euros-preview-finland/
NETHERLANDS – by Kris Goman: https://impetusfootball.org/2022/07/01/euros-preview-netherlands/
SWITZERLAND – by Ellie Ramsauer: https://impetusfootball.org/2022/07/02/euros-preview-switzerland/