Hinds says Young Lionesses' strong bond will help in Jordan

Thursday 29 Sep 2016
Taylor Hinds has been with the U17s since 2014

Taylor Hinds is about to embark on a magical World Cup adventure with some of her best friends.

The Arsenal defender is part of the Young Lionesses squad that is in Jordan preparing for the FIFA Women’s U17 World Cup.

John Griffiths’s side open up against North Korea on Saturday afternoon before taking on Nigeria next Tuesday and then Brazil four days later.

Group C schedule

v North Korea, 5pm BST, Saturday 1 October
v Nigeria, 2pm BST, Tuesday 4 October
v Brazil, 2pm BST, Saturday 8 October
All matches live on British Eurosport

Hinds helped England win bronze at the Euros in May, and that third-place finish sealed their place at Jordan 2016.

And she is excited by the prospect of walking onto the pitch with a group of girls she has spent so long with.

Hinds said: “There’s no other group of girls I’d rather go to a World Cup with. We’re like a family.

“We’ve been together in different camps for over a year now and we have really bonded, staff and players.

“We’ll be spending a long time together during the World Cup and I know that bond we have built up will help see us through.”

Hinds, like many of her team-mates, is virtually an U17s veteran, having first been part of the set-up in 2014.

The Northampton native featured in two phases of Euro qualifying as well as the finals and she also enjoyed a trip to Los Angeles in February, where the Lionesses took on South Korea, Japan and host nation USA.

And she believes that experience of playing against non-European opposition will help them in Jordan.

Hinds added: “I think those three games have prepared us well for this World Cup in that we will be playing teams from outside of Europe again so hopefully we can adapt to their different styles of play.

“Now we know a bit more about what to expect from non-European teams but you never really know in a World Cup. You’ve got to be prepared for everything.”

Five of Hinds’ Gunners club mates helped England’s senior team finish third at last year’s World Cup in Canada and she said the U17s group have taken inspiration from that historic run.

She explained: “They inspired so many girls throughout the country. Not just us girls that play in the same club sides but girls that play local football every weekend.

“I have spoken to a few of them about Canada and what it was like, and they have given me some advice about what to expect in Jordan.”

The England Women

The squad that finished third at the Euros in May

Hinds continued: “I can’t wait for it to start. Words can’t describe exactly how I feel, I just want to make my friends and family proud.

“Not many people can say they have ever gone to a World Cup so to do it at 17 is amazing.

“We’ve all worked so hard to get here and we all want to enjoy it. We’ve been taking every training session seriously and we’ll take each game as it comes.

“Every team is here to win it and that goes for us as well. We want to win the World Cup.”

This is the first England squad to qualify outright for the FIFA Women's U17 World Cup. The Lionesses that reached the semi-finals in 2008 were invited to take part.

You can watch every England match live on British Eurosport.

By Glenn Lavery