“We need to beat all of them”
November 30, 2017
By Sascha Staat
Although, Xenia Smits recently missed some time on the court because of a hand injury, she only has the upcoming World championship on her mind. At the age of 14, she moved from Belgium to Germany and today she is one of the key players of French champion, Metz. Xenia is also seen as one of the pivotal players for Team Germany, aiming to make it to the final weekend in Hamburg. Focus and determination are her key ingredients for success.
Actually, what are you looking forward to the most at World Cup 2017?
XS: First and foremost that it takes place in Germany, and that it – hopefully – will become a huge event that I can share with my team. That’s really awesome.
What tactical aspects have to work for you to be successful? Your coach likes to praise the team’s transition game, but what else needs to work?
XS: I agree, I think we are a very fast team once we win balls in defense. We need to find easy solutions in offense and create good scoring opportunities. If all of this works well, it looks quite good for us. In case we lose the ball, we need to get back fast and use our strength, our speed and athletics.
Although, you’re still quite young, you already bring some experience to the table, playing for a top team in Europe, as well as competing in the Champions League. Do you feel you can just go out and play your game or do you feel some sort of pressure because you already have experience on a higher level?
XS: I think all of the players know their part, actually everyone on the team does. There’s always pressure because you want to help your team win games, no matter how old you are. That’s why we do team sports, so we can fight together, win together and contribute depending on the role we were given.
Do you think you will be able to enjoy the competition all the way to the end?
XS: Sure, I hope so. Obviously, I hope for us that we will go far and I will try to enjoy it as much as possible.
Is the game against The Netherlands the one you are looking forward to the most, as they appear to be one of the top favorites to win the tournament?
XS: To be honest I’m looking forward to all the matches. Sure, right now, it’s the team everyone is afraid of. It will be a big game, the arena will be sold out, and the atmosphere will be special.
If you had to pick one team you need to defeat, to win it all, who would it be?
XS: It’s not one team; it’s all the teams. We need to beat all of them if we want to win the tournament. If we can do so, it’s good for us because that means we just won the title (laughs).
When would you call the tournament a success?
XS: Well, that’s easy, our goal is to make it to the semi-finals. If we do so, then it will be a success, if not it will be a disappointment.