Yorkshire has been chosen to host the Women’s U19 team’s quest to qualify for the European Championship Finals.
Yorkshire has been chosen as the region to host the England Women’s Under-19 team’s quest to qualify for the 2004 UEFA U19 European Championship Finals.
England will face a tough four-team Qualifying Tournament against Wales, Romania and Bulgaria, aiming to finish top and secure a place in the next qualifying round.
The tournament will be played between 27 September - 02 October 2004 with games being held at York City, Halifax Town and South Leeds Stadium.
The England Under-19s team face two rounds of qualifying to reach the annual eight-team Finals, which will be held in July 2005 in Hungary.
England were semi-finalists in 2002 and 2003, and reached the quarter-finals of the 2002 FIFA U19 World Championship, so have a good record in recent competitions.
The FA is delighted to be bringing an international women’s tournament to the area, which has seen as massive rise in the popularity of the game.
Girls’ football is growing rapidly in the region, with the numbers of registered girls’ teams in the West Riding area rising by 60 per cent last season.
These figures reflect the national picture with the number of girls playing football over the past year in English schools, clubs and in leisure time is 1.6 million according to FA Research (BRMB, May 2004).
National Women’s Coach Hope Powell said: "The current crop of Under-19 internationals have played in two friendlies recently against Sweden and Finland and have shown they can perform well in Europe this season.
"We are hoping that local football fans and players will turn out to cheer the team onto victory and they can expect to see some entertaining football played by emerging talent.
"Some of the players may go onto play for the Senior squad at the highest level and this tournament will play a key part in their development."
The young England side, who are also coached by former England captain Mo Marley, will kick-off their European campaign at York City on Tuesday 27 September against Bulgaria at 7.00pm. Earlier that day Wales will play Bulgaria at the same venue, kick-off 2pm.
York City Communications Director Sophie McGill said: "York City Football Club is proud to be hosting the England Under-19 women's football tournament at Bootham Crescent.
"This is a prestigious sporting event and a chance for the people of York to see the women's football stars of the future.
"We are delighted to be working with The Football Association to ensure the tournament is a great success."
The second match day, on Thursday 29 September at Halifax Town FC, will feature a 2pm kick-off between Wales and Bulgaria, then England will play Romania at 7.00pm.
Chief Executive of the Shay Stadium Trust Geoff Butler commented: "We are delighted that we have been chosen for these prestigious matches and hope that local football fans will enjoy having the option to watch international football in the area."
England’s final fixture will be a Home Nations clash against Wales on Saturday 02 September with a 2.00pm kick-off. At the same time Bulgaria will play Romania at a local venue to be confirmed.
Councillor John Procter, Executive Member for Leisure at Leeds City Council, said: "Leeds City Council are proud to host an international UEFA U19 Women's Championship football match at their flagship site – South Leeds Stadium.
"The home nation game is the first major women's football event to take place at the Stadium and potentially will be the platform to introduce women's international football and other key sporting events to the people of Leeds."
Tickets for the matches will go on sale from Friday 03 September from the respective venues. The Football Association has set the entry at just £1 for adults and concessions, in order to attract families and young players along to the matches.