Youth Teams
Youth Teams

Gemma Grainger: Young Lionesses relishing experiences gained at WU17s Euros

Friday 10 May 2019
Gemma Grainger led the U17s through two unbeaten rounds of Euro qualifying

Players in England Women’s U17s’ European Championship squad are gaining invaluable experience that will help them become more rounded senior internationals in the future, said head coach Gemma Grainger.

The Young Lionesses are in Bulgaria for the finals, the first major tournament the 20-strong group has participated in.

They lost their group opener to Germany at the weekend but responded with a 2-1 win over Austria on Wednesday.

England v Netherlands
  • UEFA Women's U17 Euros
  • Group B
  • Saturday 11 May
  • in Kavarna, Bulgaria
Their last group match is against Netherlands on Saturday, with England needing to better Germany’s result against Austria to have any hope of progressing to the semi-finals. If Germany defeat Austria then England must defeat Netherlands by at least three goals more.

“These players will remember this tournament for so many reasons,” said Grainger.

“You can never replicate tournament matches so it’s been great for the girls in that respect. And there have been a number of things they’ve had to deal with both on and off the pitch, things that it’s much better to experience for the first time as an U17 rather than a senior international.

“What I’ve seen over the years is that U17 players learn the most at their first tournament, which this is for them.”

She continued: “Playing teams of the calibre of Germany and Holland is exactly what we want to be doing. We want to learn and test ourselves against the best.

“Our main goal has been to learn as much as we can from each game. The more experiences these players can get at a young age the better.

“So going into this third game needing a positive result is actually a really good scenario for us because it’s another new experience we’ll have to overcome.

“You always want to be in with a shout going into the third group game and I’m pleased that we are.

“All our focus is on tomorrow. We know what we want to do, we know what we need to do and it’s an exciting challenge for us.”

By FA Staff