Two England players are amongst the teenagers awaiting their A Level results today.
Across the country today, thousands of teenagers will be finding out whether their work of the past two years has yielded the A-Level results they want.
For two of England's Women's players, Eniola Aluko and Karen Carney, that nervous wait is also going on, after they had the added distraction of taking their exams in between matches at WOMEN'S EURO 2005.
Charlton Athletic and England striker Eniola Aluko actually sat one of her history exams on the morning of England's second group game against Denmark at Blackburn Rovers, and she recently popped into Soho Square to talk about her eventful last twelve months, before looking ahead to the new season.
Looking back over the last twelve months, what have been your highlights?
To be honest, the last year has just been non-stop, and even though the new season has just kicked off, I don’t feel like I’ve stopped!
My objective at the start of last season was to cement a place in the England Senior team, and try and get some silverware with Charlton.
To then score the winning goal in The FA Women’s Cup Final and then be picked for the Euro 2005 squad still takes a little bit of believing.
When you reflect on Euro 2005, what sort of impact do you think the tournament has had on the game?
I think the impact will be hard to quantify until the grassroots season kicks off and we can see how many new girls and women’s teams have formed as a result of hosting Euro 2005, but from a playing point of view, it was phenomenal.
Having so many people at the games is something I will remember for the rest of my career, and all the players hope that this was a breakthrough in terms of attracting new fans.
The women’s game hasn’t developed with a silver spoon in its mouth, we’ve had to fight hard to be seen as credible footballers, and when you saw the media coverage during the summer, and fans of all ages asking for autographs and cheering us on, all our hard work off the pitch suddenly seemed vindicated.
After the emotions of Euro 2005, was it good to get back in action so quickly for the U19s in their own European Championship?
In a way it was. Having gone out of Euro 2005 in the manner that we did, I went into the U19 tournament still carrying a bit of anger, and went into each game playing as though it was my last game, giving absolutely everything.
All the players wanted to make their mark, and whilst the technical part of our game was really high, we just got punished for a bit of naivety at times.
The passion amongst the squad though was one of the best I have ever experienced and after holding one of the best youth sides in the world to a draw [France] it was heartbreaking to lose to Russia.
On reflection, those two teams eventually contested the Final, so the girls can hold their heads up high, and will all have learnt from their international experience.
Having not played in the qualification games for the U19s, which of your teammates impressed you?
I wouldn’t want to single out any one player over any other really, but if pushed, I’ll give readers of TheFA.com four players to look out for this season.
Katie Holtham: Katie has come on in leaps and bounds over the past twelve months and was one of the most motivational captains I have played under. She was a real leader in every sense and will be a big player for Bristol Academy this season.
Lianne Sanderson: Anyone who has seen Arsenal in action over the last couple of seasons will be impressed with Lianne. She very rarely gives the ball away and has an eye for a killer pass.
Chantelle Parry: Channy is an exciting player and having played up front with her, I know she frightens defenders to death! Everton had a great season last year, and playing alongside so many other experienced internationals there, she will only get stronger.
Fern Whelan: Fern is a player that not many people will have heard of but she is an excellent defender and still only 16. She has a lot of composure on the ball, is good in the air and has a great attitude.
We will bring you the second part of this interview tomorrow.