England Under-17s picked up a resounding tournament win in Scotland in April 200
England Under-17s picked up a resounding tournament win in Scotland in April 2002.
Their participation may not have ended on a high note after losing 5-3 to hosts Scotland, but the performances of the players were more than enough to win the five-team group which included the USA. Victories against Republic Of Ireland, Northern Ireland and USA meant that England led their group going into their final game on Sunday.
Despite playing well, England were unlucky to go down in the high-scoring game with Kim Holden and substitute Nicole Emmanuel netting for the visitors. Coach Jane Ebbage was delighted with the squad. "If this is the future of England, I can't wait to see it."
"Honestly, I am so proud of the girls. They have worked tremendously hard and they have been professional. From the very start until the end, the team spirit has been superb and they have had some good results. On a personal note, it has been the most successful time I have spent away with a team. They have been magnificent."
England won their first game 2-1 against Republic Of Ireland, before going on to beat Northern Ireland 7-0 and USA 4-2. That gave England by far the best goal difference ratio, even netting three goals in the final game's defeat.
"It is impressive when you have ten different goalscorers out of a squad of 18," added Ebbage, who was working alongside coach Julie Chipchase - the Doncaster Belles manager. "The girls scored from set pieces and from open play set models we had practised. That is extremely satisfying for a coach when the players do what they have been told to do and they always stuck to the game plan."
"There are some really promising players in that squad - in fact, I think I can safely say that is the best squad of that age I have ever worked with."
England Under-17s squad: Claire Wallhead - Chesterfield, Julie Key - Doncaster Rovers, Leanne Severns - Sheffield Wednesday, Hayley White - Arsenal, Becky Brand - Hastings Town, Hayley Kemp - Arsenal, Beth Bailey - Ilkeston Town, Elaine Sedgewick - Sunderland, Claire Bridgett - Sunderland, Anita Asante - Arsenal, Sheuneen Ta - Arsenal, Natasha Caswell - Reading Royals, Kirsty Percival - Fulham, Leanne Griffin - Birmingham City, Kim Holden - Tranmere Rovers, Nicole Emmanuel - Arsenal, Roschelle Shakes - Arsenal, Eniola Aluko - Birmingham City