2008 saw Lois Fidler guide England to the semi-final of the Euros and to fourth place in the World Cup.
2008 has been a busy – and rather successful – year for Lois Fidler’s U17 side.
They qualified for last season’s UEFA European U17 Championship in March, which subsequently secured them a berth in the first ever FIFA Women’s U17 World Cup in New Zealand, where they finished fourth.
England's year began with a Euro qualifier against Czech Republic, when a Danielle Carter brace helped them to a 4-0 victory. Rebecca Jane and Jessica Holbrook scored the other two goals.
They followed this up with a 3-1 win over Belgium just two days later. Carter was again on the scoresheet, alongside Gilly Flaherty and Rachel Daly.
A 0-0 stalemate with Holland in the final group match booked England a place in the UEFA European Women's U17 Championship Finals in Switzerland, where they lost out to France in the semi-final after extra-time.
Qualification for next year’s Euros began in September with England claiming group victories over Greece and Estonia before losing the final match against Norway. However, they were one of the six best runners-up and are currently preparing to take on Spain, Czech Republic and Belgium in the second phase of qualifying, which will take place between 5-10 April.
England's World Cup campaign could not have got off to a better start as they brushed aside a flamboyant Brazil outfit and cruised to a 3-0 win. Carter was once again England’s hero, scoring twice with Lauren Bruton grabbing the other.
They saw off Nigeria in the second Group D match courtesy of a late strike from Holbrook. England qualified for the quarter-final despite losing their final group game against South Korea.
The quarter-final tie against Japan was a truly thrilling encounter which saw Isobel Christiansen level the scores in injury time from fully 40 yards out.
Chinatsu Kira gave Japan the lead after eight minutes, latching on to a through ball from Mana Iwabuchi, before angling a right-foot shot just inside the far post.
Lucy Staniforth equalised in first-half injury time with a left foot drive from just outside the box.
Though England were the better side in the second half, Japan regained the lead with just eight minutes remaining, through Iwabuchi. It was left to Christiansen to provide a bolt from the blue in injury time, finding the top left-hand corner from 40 yards out to produce a contender for goal of the tournament.
Extra time failed to yield a winner, so the game went to penalties, where Lauren Davey and Gemma Bonner emerged as England's heroines, the former saving from Natsumi Kameoka and the latter firing home a superb winning kick.
England’s incredible World Cup journey unfortunately came to an end in the semi-final when they were narrowly beaten by North Korea. Their Third/Fourth place Play-Off also ended in defeat, but as she prepares for April’s Euro qualifiers, Fidler can reflect on 2008 with immense pride.