Mo Marley congratulated her England Women’s U19 side after they qualified for this summer’s European Championship finals.
And the head coach was delighted with how her charges booked their place in Norway. Two goals apiece from Liverpool’s Katie Zelem and Sunderland’s Beth Mead and a strike from Manchester City’s Natasha Flint completed a comprehensive victory over the host nation.
Finland 0-5 England
UEFA Women's U19 Euros
Elite Qualifying Round
Thursday 10 April
Marley said: "We played really, really well, just like we did against Finland in the semi-final last year.
"We started off brilliantly, and once you score an early goal that gives you a bit of composure and you can relax a little bit. The more goals that went in the more confident we became, but the game was still quite tight.
"Scoring early and capitalising on that made a big difference."
She continued: "With the performances we’ve put in in these qualifiers we’ve demonstrated that we deserve to get to the finals.
"I’d never have imagined we’d have got nine points from the group we were in because it was a really, really tough group. But that’s full credit to the girls with how consistent and professional they have been.
"They did everything I asked them to do."
Marley will now prepare her side for the eight-team Euro finals which takes place between 15-27 July.
The 47-year-old has steered England to the final of this competition four times in the last seven seasons, winning the gold medal in Belarus in 2009 with a side featuring six players who are in the current senior set-up.
And with the U20 World Cup also in the offing this year, Marley is pleased that up to 39 players will get to experience a finals tournament this summer – a crucial factor in player development.
Marley added: "It just means more players will get to experience a finals tournament.
"More of our players in those age bands will get that experience and that can only be great preparation for the senior team."