England warmed-up for their Nordic Cup games with a 0-0 draw away to Sweden on Saturday.
England’s U21s warmed-up for their Nordic Cup games later this summer with a 0-0 draw away to Sweden on Saturday.
Brent Hills’s squad was one of the youngest and most inexperienced he had fielded in his tenure as Head Coach, but he was delighted that his side had more than matched a strong, physically imposing Swedish team.
Brent told TheFA.com: “With the U19s having just played in Romania, and the likes of Jill Scott and Lianne Sanderson in the Senior squad, it was a chance to see how some new players would perform, and they didn’t disappoint me.”
Carla Cantrell and Kimberley Dixson made her England international debuts, both coming on as second half substitutes, whilst Laura Bassett, Katie Holtham and Siobhan Chamberlain kept their match sharpness ahead of the Senior game against Hungary.
“Sweden started very strongly” said Brent “but after a fast opening quarter, we settled down and had the best of the next hour of the game.
“Our back four and both ‘keepers were very steady and kept Sweden at bay, particularly when they were pushing for a winner in the last fifteen minutes, whilst at the other end, Sarah Snare and Jodie Taylor’s pace were a constant threat.
“Nicola Hobbs came on at half-time in goal and I was also very pleased for her” said Brent. “We have three very good ‘keepers at U19 level and after missing out on the qualifiers in Romania, this will have done her the power of good in adding to her experience.”
The result once again supports the theory that the gap between the traditional ‘superpowers’ and England is narrowing all the time, and TheFA.com will follow the U21s when they play Sweden, Germany and Finland between 16-20 July.
Siobhan Chamberlain (Bristol Academy), Rachel Axon (AFC Wimbledon), Katie Holtham (Bristol Academy), Laura Bassett (Birmingham City), Corinne Yorston (Bristol Academy), Nicole Emmanuel (Leeds United), Amy Kane (Everton), Lynda Shepherd (Blackburn Rovers), Michelle Hickmott (Charlton Athletic), Sarah Snare (Charlton Athletic), Jodie Taylor (Oregon State University, USA)
Nicola Hobbs for Siobhan Chamberlain (46mins), Carla Cantrell for Sarah Snare (73mins), Shelley Cox for Nicole Emmanuel (46mins), Kimberley Dixson for Corinne Yorston (79mins)
Sophie Clough (Leeds United), Bonnie Horwood (Fulham), Stacey Sowden (Barnet)