Albion women's skipper represented the police in Prague.
Brighton & Hove Albion women’s captain, Vicky Ashton-Jones, was recently out in Prague representing the Great Britain Police Ladies team in the European Championships.
Ashton-Jones played in all four of the matches in the space of five days, as the side claimed a sixth-place finish at the eight-team tournament.
She told seagulls.co.uk, “It’s only the second European Championships for women police officers, the first was in 2012.
“There are eight teams that compete over the course of seven days. We had to pre-qualify, because we finished eighth in the last tournament and a total of ten teams applied to take part.
“We beat Hungary 5-1 back in October, which meant that we secured our place in the finals in Prague.”
Great Britain were drawn alongside the hosts Czech Republic, Denmark and Norway in a four-team group, ahead of the knockout stages, where a third-place finish saw the team take on the Netherlands in the fifth-place play-off.
“The first game against the Czech Republic was a big learning curve for us as a whole squad.
“We went 2-0 down very quickly and realised that we had to change our shape. We recovered well in the second half, drawing it 1-1 and ended up losing the game 4-1 in the end.
“The 2-0 defeat to Norway in the next game was disappointing, especially as we seemed to be dominating the first 20 minutes and the two goals we conceded were down to errors.
“The 2-0 win over Denmark in our final group game gave us a massive confidence boost and we felt like we had finally got what we deserved.”
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The competition ended on a low note for Ashton-Jones and her team-mates following a 3-0 loss to the Netherlands, but Albion women’s skipper took plenty from the experience.
“We were dominating the first half against the Dutch, but they’re a great side and had a great team bond together.
“We had a very strong first half hour, but then a horrific hailstorm took place. We had to stop the match because we had golf-ball sized hail crashing on us while we were playing, causing us to dive for cover under the subs’ bench! We were delayed for a good five or ten minutes and it took us a while to get back into the game afterwards after already being a goal down.
“We conceded two more goals as we were pushing for an equaliser, but were running on empty at that moment.
“To finish sixth, bearing in mind we finished eighth in the last tournament, is an achievement. There are positives to take from it and we’ve learned a lot as a group. We’ve got a great team bond and there’s a lot to take from it, even though we would’ve liked to finish fifth or higher.”