Mo looks back on successful 2013 for Women's U19s

Saturday 28 Dec 2013
Mo Marley has led England to the FIFA Women's U20 World Cup

Mo Marley revealed her pride at helping the England Women’s U19 team qualify for next year’s U20 World Cup.

The Young Lions finished runners-up to France in the European Championship finals in Wales and the silver medal earned them a place at the summer showpiece in Canada.

Marley said: "I’m delighted with how the year went. To qualify for a World Cup is what everybody sets out to do; that’s the main goal.

"But I’m also really happy with the significant improvement we’ve seen over the last 12 months and that is essentially what we are here to do – to help make them better players.

"Our job is to prepare the player for what is expected at international level and as a coach you’ve got to keep sending messages to your players and keep them believing in what we are doing."

Things could have been a whole lot different, however, had they not bounced back from a crazy 5-4 defeat by Serbia in the opening Euro qualifier back in April.

But they recovered well, registering deserved 3-0 wins over Hungary and Norway to qualify for the finals.

A 0-0 draw with France in the opening game was followed up with another two 3-0 victories, against Wales and Denmark.

Their most complete performance came in the 4-0 defeat of Finland in the semi-final – a win built on a scintillating first-half performance.

And although France ended their hopes of glory, albeit only after extra-time, Marley was full of praise for her players.

She added: "After the Serbia game it was hard to keep the players motivated and believing in what we were doing.

"But the resilience they showed and their desire to show what we’ve put in place over the year just reflects the type of character we’ve got in the team and I think we’ve got our just rewards.

"I’m delighted for the players. It was one of the tightest units I’ve ever worked with.

"I reminded the players what you can achieve when you’ve got everyone pulling in the same direction. And what we achieved in Wales with a largely inexperienced group of players spoke volumes.

"Now we are looking forward to the World Cup and we’ve already begun our preparations for what will be a big 2014."


By Glenn Lavery