Coach Mo Marley has named her final squad of 18 as England bid for European glor
Coach Mo Marley has named her final squad of 18 as England bid for European glory at the UEFA Under-19 Women's European Championship Finals in Germany later this month.
Marley has picked a strong squad for the championships, featuring two full senior internationals, Fara Williams, who has recently returned to full fitness after a back injury, and Everton's Kelly McDougall. Also selected is 16-year-old Eniola Aluko - the Umbro Young Player of the Year who scored on her debut in April's qualifying group.
The squad also features newcomer Karen Bardsley - an American-born goalkeeper at California State University, who qualifies to play through English parentage. Bardsley attended a training camp last month in Colchester and impressed enough to make the final cut.
This will be only the second time that England have a full-strength squad to pick from this season; the first time was in the first qualifying round in October, where England breezed to victories against the Faroe Islands, Bulgaria and Lithuania.
England had hosted the second qualifying stage in April, finishing second on goal difference to Spain after a draw, and two victories against Denmark and Republic of Ireland. They qualified for the eight-nation finals as the best of three runners-up.
Marley's side have a tough draw for the group stage of the Finals, facing reigning champions Germany. England kick-off against Sweden on July 25th, then play Italy two days later before a live Eurosport match against the hosts Germany on Tuesday July 29th.
In the second Finals Group will be 2002 Finalists France, the Netherlands, Spain and Norway. The top two in each group progress to the semi-finals, with the three latter stage games all being broadcast live on Eurosport.
England have a proud championship record to uphold following last year's achievements. In season 2001-02 England reached the semi-finals of the European championships - losing to Germany by a single penalty - and also the quarter-finals of the inaugural FIFA U19 World Championship, losing 6-2 to hosts Canada in front of 23,000 people in Edmonton.
England squad in full: Karen Bardsley (California State University Fullerton/Infinity, USA), Carly Telford (Sunderland), Shelly Cox (Leeds United), Beth Bailey (Birmingham City), Jo Traynor (Everton), Faye Cardin (Birmingham City), Laura Husselbee (Arsenal), Hayley Kemp (Arsenal), Kelly McDougall (Everton), Anita Asante (Arsenal), Sheuneen Ta (Arsenal), Emma Thomas (Arsenal), Fara Williams (Charlton Athletic), Alex Scott (Arsenal), Katy Ward (Birmingham City), Jo Potter (Birmingham City), Eniola Aluko (Birmingham City), Michelle Evans (Tranmere Rovers)