Jordan ready for World Cup assault
Saturday, 03 July, 2010
England midfielder will use European Final defeat as extra motivation.
FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup
Group C - England, Nigeria, Mexico, Japan
Tuesday 13 July - Sunday 1 August 2010
By Glenn Lavery
Exactly two weeks today, Mo Marley will lead her England team into the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup in Germany and midfielder Jordan Nobbs is hoping to use last month’s European heartache as extra motivation on the biggest stage of all.
England were beaten 2-1 by France in the Final of the UEFA European Women’s U19 Championship, relinquishing the title they lifted in Belarus last summer, but the Sunderland youngster says the recent defeat has only served to increase their appetite for World Cup glory.
“We were deeply disappointed with that loss,” said Nobbs. “No-one wants to lose, especially when you’ve made it all the way to a Final.
“Obviously we were upset not to hold on to the title, but hopefully it will be a kick up the backside ahead of the World Cup. When you lose in big Finals I think it gives you that hunger to win even more because you don’t want to experience losing again.”
Still aged only 17, Nobbs has become a regular fixture in the Sunderland midfield and she helped the Black Cats reach the 2009 FA Women’s Cup Final, where they lost 2-1 to perennial winners Arsenal. She was also an integral part of Mick Mulhern’s side last season as they finished a commendable fifth in The FA Women’s Premier League.
However, other than the European success of 2009, one particular experience stands out for Nobbs in her fledgling career so far: captaining England at the 2008 FIFA Women’s U17 World Cup.
“I'm really proud of what we achieved in New Zealand,” she said. “We finished fourth, which in itself is fantastic, but I think we were unlucky not to have gone further. But the opportunity to play against teams like Brazil and Nigeria doesn’t come around too often and that was an experience that I’ll never forget.
“I think playing against a variety of opponents and non-European countries has made me a better player,” she continued. “I can adapt better to different styles now. I know I'm still young and I’ve still got a long way to go, but these tournaments are great.”
In 2008, the U20s were also in World Cup action and eight of this current squad appeared in those Finals in Chile, where England lost in the quarter-finals to eventual winners USA. Nobbs believes the collective experience of international tournament football will aid Marley’s charges in their assault on this year’s competition.
“We have a lot of England experience in this squad, at different levels,” said the recently crowned FA Young Player of the Year.
“Players like Toni [Duggan] and Becky [Spencer] will no doubt pass on their experience of the last World Cup and what that was like to play in and all the players who have gone to the World Cup and are older than me then, of course, I’m going to look up to them and find out what went well and what didn’t.
“I speak to a lot of the girls all the time and hopefully we can give each other ideas throughout the tournament.”
The squad fly to Germany next Tuesday in preparation for their opening Group C clash, against Nigeria on Wednesday 14 July, though Nobbs says a trip to Spain has already accelerated this process.
“We had a training camp in La Manga which went really well. Mo and all the coaches know what they are doing and they’ve prepared us very well. That’s how we’ve reached two Finals in the past two years; through the coaches’ knowledge and hard work.
“We’re definitely ready for this World Cup and we are all looking forward to it.”