Lois Fidler says her side will become stronger for Euro exit.
England 1-2 Holland
UEFA European Women’s U17 Championship
Elite Qualifying Round Group 1
Tuesday 13 April 2010
The England Women’s U17 Head Coach, Lois Fidler, said her players were “absolutely devastated” after missing out on qualification for the European Finals but she also articulated her belief that they would become stronger for the experience.
A 2-1 defeat to Holland in the final Elite Round Qualifier did the damage but Fidler can take a degree of satisfaction from a victory over Serbia and a battling 0-0 draw with Italy earlier in the group, and despite the European dream being brought to a disappointing conclusion, Fidler says her players should be proud of their efforts.
“This result should make them stronger in the long term,” said Fidler after the Holland defeat.
“Don’t get me wrong, right now we are all absolutely devastated and although it doesn’t feel great at this moment in time, we are trying to reinforce the message that what is important is how the players respond to this disappointment.”
England came into the Holland game knowing a win would allow them to displace the Dutch at the top of Group 1 and send them to Switzerland for the Finals in the summer.
Katie Wilkinson gave England the lead just before the hour mark but the one-goal advantage lasted only a matter of minutes as a converted Kelly Zeeman penalty allowed Maria van Kortenhof's side to restore parity and with just three minutes remaining Sanne Schoenmakers broke English hearts by scoring a late winner.
“We’ve got high standards and before the Holland game we knew we had things to work on and to be fair, we delivered that,” reflected Fidler. “We went into the game like we would any other, with a view to getting the win and for 80 minutes I thought we dominated. It was just disappointing that the game swung on what I feel was a very poor refereeing decision, just like we experienced in the Italy game when we weren’t awarded an obvious penalty, but that’s one of the things you have to try and deal with I suppose.
“To be fair, we’ve also got to put the ball in the net and we didn’t manage that against the Italians, although the character and resilience we showed after going down to ten players was fantastic. Although we were a player short, I thought we were the better side.
“If I’m being totally honest I don’t think we could have asked any more from them,” continued Fidler. “It’s hard to take now, but it should prove to be an invaluable experience for the girls. There was a lot at stake, but the experience of failure is an important one in that you have to learn from it. The sight of the Dutch players celebrating will stay with those girls for a very long time and they will get better because of it.
“It’s tough, but I couldn’t have asked for any more. They can be very proud of themselves.”England
1 Mary Earps, 2 Lara Fay, 3 Alex Greenwood, 5 Hannah Short, 6 Kirsty Linnett (C), 7 Katie Wilkinson, 8 Bianca Bragg (4 Elizabeth Ince, 53), 9 Danielle Carter, 11 Lucy Gunton-Jones (18 Freda Ayisi, 65), 12 Phoebe Richards, 17 Sherry McCueSubstitutes not used
13 Tatiana Saunders, 14 Chloe Dale, 15 Leigh-Anne Robe, 16 Jade Bailey