Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder Maya Le Tissier expressed her pride at captaining England at the recent UEFA Women Under-17 Championship, and says lessons will be learned after a cruel group stages exit.
The young Lionesses were placed in a group alongside Germany, Austria and the Netherlands. They bounced back from a 4-0 defeat to Germany in their first game before beating Austria and the Netherlands 2-1 and 2-0 respectively, to leave the top three teams tied on six points.
Gemma Grainger’s young side missed out on a place in the semi-finals due to an inferior goal difference, and despite the premature exit, Le Tissier says the team left the competition with their heads held high.
She said, “It’s hard to put into words what it means to lead the girls out and captain your side at a major tournament.
“As a team we all pulled together well, and now need to bounce back from this tournament in a positive way.
“It’s gutting to go out on goal difference, but we gave it our all throughout the tournament. We lost one game, but won two, so to go out with that total of points is tough to take.
“But we’ll take a lot from the tournament and it was a good learning experience.”
Le Tissier was joined by Albion team-mates Ellie Hack and Emily Orman in the squad, and the skipper reflected on the proud occasion of all three players being named in the starting line-up against Austria.
“To have three Brighton players there was brilliant, and we all started the Austria game, which was great for the club.
“We managed to win the game 2-1, but were under a cosh for a lot of it. That win gave us a chance of going through ahead of the next game against the Netherlands.
“That game went very well and we managed to beat them 2-0. The fact that they went on to reach the final shows the quality we have and how much strength there is in our squad. You need a bit of luck in these tournaments, and unfortunately, we didn’t get it.”