“Relentless”, “attacking” and “exciting” were just a few of the words Gemma Davies, England U19s manager, used to describe her group of players on the eve of their first international championship. They showed these characteristics in abundance in a winning opening display – a 4-1 victory against Norway – that will have instilled a huge amount of confidence in this young side.
Under the guidance of Gemma Davies, England’s U19s will get their European Championships campaign underway on Monday afternoon in Ostrava. Manchester United’s Tara Bourne is one the strong 20-player squad that is brimming with potential from back to front. We caught up with the Young Lioness ahead of a big summer:
We’re used to managers and players playing down big or notable fixtures. “It’s just another game” they’ll say, “We’ll focus on ourselves”. But there is no denying that tomorrow’s friendly is going to be something special with it being the first time that England manager, Sarina Wiegman, will face her old side and homeland, the Netherlands.
In football, as in life, things have a habit of coming full circle. On the eve of England’s second international friendly against the Netherlands, Rachel Daly is facing the prospect of receiving her 50th cap at the home of the club that has played such an integral part of her life.
With three weeks before the European Championships begin, it was decision day for Sarina Wiegman as she narrowed down her England squad from 28 to 23. A hard task for any manager but particularly one who is so in the spotlight ahead of a home Euros.
As we reflect back on 2021, the return of youth-level football on an international stage has to be one of the highlights. With tournaments cancelled for over a year due to coronavirus, football federations have had to play catch up as a generation of young footballers missed out on the traditional pathways to develop their trade.
England U19s opened their European qualification with a hard-fought victory over a spirited Republic of Ireland side.
England’s U17s were back in action on Thursday afternoon as they secured a vital win against Belgium in their European Qualifying group.