ESFA Internationals

Match Report: John Read Trophy 2020

England U15 Schoolgirls bring home the John Read Trophy 2020 after a 2 -1 win in Dublin

The England U15 Schoolgirls returned home with one more piece of luggage than they left with on Friday as they edged a tough encounter with the Republic of Ireland to claim the John Read Trophy.

The impressive venue at Abbotstown welcomed both sides and although it was a bright afternoon England kicked off facing a strong wind which has been the theme for their recent warm up fixtures!

That, however, did not prevent them taking an early lead when Poppy Pritchard struck to put England ahead inside the opening 5 minutes.

The visitors were looking strong and determined but the Irish worked their way back on top and levelled when a long cross into the box found its way to Ellie Long and she converted to tie the scores at 1-1.

In what was a hard fought and entertaining encounter there were chances for both sides to re-take the lead before half time but neither keeper were seriously tested although Sophia Poor in the England goal did well to deal with a couple of wind affected crosses into the box.

The second half started in much the same vein and it was England who grabbed what proved to be the winning goal.

Rebecca Ferguson picked up the ball just outside the box and unleashed a tremendous shot into the top corner to give the home keeper no chance and give England a 2-1 lead.

Despite playing against a strong wind the Irish pressed forward in search of the equaliser and Aimee Flood had to dive to her left to keep out a goal bound shot shortly after.

England had penalty claims waved away midway through the second half but Ferguson’s strike proved to be decisive as the England defence held firm to deny their hosts a chance to equalise.

All that was left was for skipper Mikayla Wildgoose to lift the trophy and find a space for it on the plane ride home.

Next up for the girls is the six team Bob Docherty Cup which will kick-off in mid April and will be staged at Lilleshall National Sports Centre in Shropshire.

Match report and photos courtesy of 353 Photography

ESFA Internationals, International Football

England Squad Eindhoven Training Camp – Round up

Last week saw the England U18 Schoolboy and U15 Schoolgirl squads make the trip to Eindhoven for their 4 day training camp, courtesy of ESFA travel providers, inspiresport.

Both teams had the opportunity to play two friendly matches during the trip and you can read match reports from the boys’ match v Utrecht U17s and girls’ match against Feyenoord U15s here.

Aside from two friendly matches, the teams experienced training sessions with PSV Eindhoven coaches at their De Herdgang training facility.

Having arrived in the Netherlands through Storm Dennis, the weather showed little signs of improvement across the continent with a mix of strong winds, rain and an icy feel to the temperature despite the sunshine making an appearance during the early morning practice sessions.

As well as the excellent sporting facilities available to both squads at the hotel, there was also an opportunity for a behind the scenes tour of the Phillips Stadium, home of PSV Eindhoven, with the girls also taking in a tour of the KNVB Campus after their game on Sunday afternoon. At the home of the Dutch National sides, the girls were given a look around the excellent facilities on hand for the cream of Dutch football as well as being given a few lessons in Dutch football history along the way.

All in all the trip once again provided the perfect opportunity for coaches and players to bond for their upcoming Centenary Shield and Bob Docherty Cup matches.

Over the next few days we’ll be posting interviews taken with U15 squad members, Niamh O’Neill and Leonie Telford and U18 players Kenny Bernal and Ross Johnstone – giving their thoughts on the benefits of the tour – look out for the links in the next few days.

Keep an eye out for even more videos from the Eindhoven experience ahead of upcoming friendly and competitive fixtures for both of the ESFA’s England squads this season.