ESFA Internationals, The World of Schools' Football

Throwback Thursday – 2016’s International Success

With the 2019 England squads’ international journeys cut short and ahead of the 20/21 squad selections, we’re going on our travels with ESFA photographer, Garry Griffiths (353 Photography), to recount some of the International action he managed to capture back in 2016


Today’s ‘Throwback Thursday’ sees us jump into the time machine and back to 2016 when we tasted international success with both the Girls U15 and Boys U18 squads etching their name on silverware.

England U15 Girls 1 – 0 ROI U15 Girls
Bob Docherty Cup Final 2016

The Bob Docherty Cup was held in South Wales and England’s girls went into the final game against the Republic of Ireland having claimed their place in the title decider with 2-0 wins over Wales, with goals from Katie Robinson and Sophie Quirk, and then Scotland as Ellie Hack and Jodie Hutton hit the target.

In a close and tense final there would be just one goal that settled it and that came from Holly Manders in the second half as the England girls held on to lift the trophy in front of a large travelling army of England supporters – even a torrential downpour seconds after the presentation could not dampen the spirits after a tough 3 days of competition in Newport.

England U18 Boys 2 – 2 Republic of Ireland
Centenary Shield Final 2016

Just 3 days earlier, at Fleetwood Town’s Highbury Stadium, the Under 18 Boys had put themselves in pole position for the Centenary Shield title with their third win of the competition, a 2-1 win over Scotland thanks to a brace from Aaron Smith.

The late winner at Fleetwood ensured the lads went into the final game with the Republic of Ireland on the back of three successive 2-1 wins having beaten Northern Ireland (scorers Joe Thomas and Zak Lilley) and Wales (scorers George Lamb and Aaron Smith) before the win over the Auld Enemy.

It proved not to be the latest goal of the international season though, the following week saw the Republic take a 2-0 lead before Smith was again on target to halve the deficit before substitute Sam Grouse bundled home a dramatic equaliser in injury time to break Irish hearts and hand England the shield.

Two dramatic and successful campaigns that will live in the memory for a long time to come!

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