England Women U19s defender Martha Harris aiming for Euro glory in Wales
England v France
UEFA European Women’s U19 Championship
3pm, Saturday 31 August 2013
Parc Y Scarlets, Llanelli
Martha Harris is hoping to help England end the summer on a high.
The right-back has been a key member of Mo Marley’s Women’s U19 team that will take on France in Saturday’s Euro Final in Parc Y Scarlets, Llanelli – the fourth time in seven seasons this age group have reached the Final.
Her cross set up Beth Mead for the Young Lions’ third goal in their 4-0 semi-final win over Finland and she says the squad have been driven to succeed throughout the tournament.
Harris explained: "When we first joined up, I got the sense everyone was doubting us a little bit.
"The other England teams had not done so well this summer, but actually it just made us more determined to step up and prove a point.”
England drew 0-0 with France in the group stage before defeating both Wales and Denmark 3-0 to progress to the last four.
Performances have improved with each game, culminating in a scintillating first-half display against the Finns when England went in 3-0 up at the break.
The French team have in their squad a number of players who lifted the U17 World Cup last year, but their influential captain, Griedge M'Bock Bathy, will be forced to sit out the Final through suspension.
And the Lincoln youngster believes this might give her side a slight advantage, as they aim to repeat the success of Toni Duggan, Jordan Nobbs, Jade Moore, Gemma Bonner and Lucy Bronze, five current senior internationals who won this competition in 2009.
Harris added: "The France team was the same group that won the U17 World Cup last year, so in the end we were happy with the draw in the group stage.
“But we have got stronger as the tournament has gone on.
"France will be tough opponents but their captain is suspended so that might make the difference, but whoever comes in to replace her will no doubt be a good player as well.
“We are playing well at the minute so hopefully we’ve got one more big performance in us and we can come away with the gold medal.”