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Looking forward to challenge - Jarmo
 Women's Football News 21 Aug 2010
Looking forward to challenge - Jarmo - 21 Aug 2010 - Women's Football NewsJarmo Matikainen is aiming to raise the standard of the Welsh women's teams at all levels when he takes over the role of manager.
The Finnish-born coach starts on 4th October but will be attending Wales' World Cup qualifying group match against Azerbaijan to see them in action for the first time since his appointment by the FA of Wales.
Speaking to Women's Soccer Scene, Jarmo admitted that is a challenge he will be relishing. "I am looking forward to having the chance to work with the team," he said. "A lot of good work has already been done and it will make it much easier for me to come on board.
"I haven't seen too much of the team but have watched a couple of DVDs of their games. I have a good impression of Wales because Finnish senior and youth teams have played against them.
"They have a good team but results have not always showed this. But there are still two matches to go in a group which is very even, so the improvement is there for everyone to see."
And Jarmo is setting his sights on continuing that improvement in the future, starting with the qualifiers for Euro 2013. "Our target is qualification, as it always has to be, but we have to be realistic," he admits. "The smaller countries have a chance if we plan very hard and work on our strengths.
"We have a year to work with the senior team before those matches start and we have to look on our strong points and what we need to work on and build on."
As well as the senior team, Jarmo will also be in charge of the Under-19s and Under-17s and he is excited about the prospect of working with the younger players. "We need to work on all levels from grass roots up to the senior team," he said. "I am pleased to see that the new league has started as it is an important part of the development work.
"There is a good development strategy here and that is very important. We had a clear strategy in Finland and that makes things much easier. The FAW clearly highlighted things that have been done, which is a big help.
"I am very interested in youth development but it all starts from the senior team. I believe in good continuity and a player pathway and a lot of good work has been done with the Under-16 age groups. Long term development is very important and I am really looking forward to talking about and finding out what is needed."
Jarmo had a good playing career in Finland and, from 1998, has spent his career involved in the women's game. "I got a phone call from the Finnish FA and was asked to take over the Under-17 women's team. I didn't know anything about women's football at that point.
"I was really motivated to work with the players and, since the very first training camp, I have been impressed with the motivation and will to work of the players. There is not much money in women's football but so much passion and a will to work and improve."

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