Mo wants England to be 'outstanding' in qualifiers

Friday 04 Apr 2014
Mo Marley has taken her side to Finland

Mo Marley is hoping her England Women’s U19 team can transfer their "outstanding" preparation into a fitting on-field performance when they begin their Euro qualifiers.

The Young Lions face Denmark on Saturday morning, followed by Serbia on Monday and a final qualifier against Finland, the host nation, on Thursday.

Only one country can qualify for the finals, which are being staged in Norway in July.


England v Denmark

UEFA Euro Women's U19 qualifier
10am, Saturday 5 April



Marley said: "Our preparation so far has been outstanding. Now it’s a case of finding out whether we can transfer that to the pitch when it matters and that’s always a big ask.

"Look at the quality and the strength of our group. To win this group one team will had to have been outstanding. They will have to have done things far superior to the rest of the group – and we’re hoping it will be us because the players have progressed well from last year.

"Now it’s about competition. We’ve had a lot of training time, a lot of contact time, but not played any competitive games. The big test will be how they respond to the real thing."

Marley led this age group to a runners-up spot at last year’s Euro finals, a run which earned England a place at the U20 World Cup in Canada in August – and that came after losing their opening qualifier 5-4 to Serbia.

In fact, England are familiar with all three group opponents, having faced all of them over the course of last season, winning the finals matches against Denmark and Finland in Wales.

However, Marley doesn’t want to focus on last season and is only looking for a positive start against Denmark.

She added: "It’s in your hands if you take care of the first two results. You have to give yourself a chance to be competitive in the third game.

"These are unusual circumstances. We’ve done a lot of preparation before we’ve even played a competitive game this season, but we are preparing, hopefully, for two tournaments – a Euro finals and a World Cup.

"We want to be able to compete with the best players and the best teams and this week epitomises that. We have to do well against some strong teams to then be competitive against the best in Europe.

"The key thing for us is we have to perform when it counts.

"But the girls have done well up to now, so hopefully we can keep it going."


By Glenn Lavery