by Glenn Lavery
Wednesday, 24 November, 2010
Mo Marley looking for response following Euro Final defeat in June.
Tickets are priced £3 for adults and £1 for concessions
Mo Marley is looking for a response from her England Women’s U19 side when they take on France at Sixfields Stadium on Thursday evening.
England were beaten by France in the Final of the UEFA European Women’s U19 Championship in June and the Head Coach believes the Young Lions have “more to offer” than they showed on that sunny day in Skopje.
“We are in for a really tough game,” she predicted, ahead of the friendly.
“They deserved to win that Final because they were the better team on the day and credit to them for that. They did what they needed to do to get a result.
“Now it is all about how we respond to that defeat and it will be interesting to see the players’ mindset; all our players were devastated at the end of the game so that tells me they could have done a bit more. If that is the case, there is no better opportunity than Thursday night to show that, individually and collectively, they have got more to offer.”
Marley’s confidence stems from the success this age group have enjoyed over the past few seasons. They have reached three European Finals in the past four years and they lifted the title in Belarus in 2009 – England’s first-ever major trophy in the women’s game.
Although they relinquished the title to France in the summer, England have qualified for the final qualifying round for this season’s Euro Finals and Marley said the main purpose of this friendly in Northampton was to get her squad ready for those three crucial matches, which will take place early next year.
“This game is also an ideal opportunity for us to begin our preparations for the Second Qualifying Round,” she concurred.
“Before any round of qualification, you can’t have better preparation than playing the European champions. And this game also gives the younger players in the squad a great opportunity to test themselves against a really good international side, stronger than they would have faced in the past.
“We don’t play many friendlies at this age level but playing games is very important. Although a lot of this squad have got a lot of U17s experience, they do not have the experience of U19s football. There is a big difference between the two age bands so it gives them an introduction to football at this level but without the pressure of having to qualify for a tournament. That should allow them to get a real feel for it and they will then recognise the standard required at this level and also the areas they need to work on.
“France are technically very good and they have a lot of pace in the side as well. It will be a high-level competition and it will be difficult for us, but that’s what we want and these are the teams we want to be playing against.
“The players who were in Macedonia will know what to expect, as the French will know with us, but it’s more important to focus on what we do and ensure that we play to the best of our ability. We didn’t do that in June but I’m confident that if we play to our best then it will take an exceptionally good team to go away with a result.”