‘An invaluable experience’

Brent Hills has urged his England Women’s U19 side to make the most of the experience as they prepare to get their European Championship finals campaign under way.

The Young Lions take on Sweden on Tuesday, followed by matches against Republic of Ireland on Friday and Spain next Monday.

The top two nations in the group will qualify for the semi-finals.

England v Sweden

UEFA Women’s U19 Championship finals
Group B
6pm BST, Tuesday 15 July 2014
Tønsberg, Norway

And Hills, The FA’s Head of Women’s Elite Development, believes his players will gain a lot from their time in Norway.

He told FATV: “What a wonderful chance to gain experience at a finals tournament.

“Everybody quotes the Spain men’s team – if you’ve got good experience in tournament finals through the age groups you’re probably going to be better prepared when you become a senior [international].

“[Former U19 international] Jade Moore spoke to the U19s about those experiences and what a wonderful talk she gave to them.

“She made them realise the significance of doing well at these tournaments.”

Hills has taken a young squad to the Euros – 17 players are eligible to play in next year’s tournament and four of them can play for the U19s for the next two seasons.

Meanwhile, Mo Marley will take 21 players to Canada next month for the U20 World Cup, meaning 39 players will experience tournament football this summer.

Hills, who led the senior side to their opening four victories in World Cup qualifying, added: “It’s a fantastic experience for all those players.

“The fact that we’ve qualified for a Euro finals and a World Cup means that all those players are going to get invaluable experience for the future.”

England finished runners-up to France at last year’s U19 Euros in Wales.

FATV caught up with Hills at St. George’s Park last week. Watch his full interview, plus footage of the U19s training, in the video at the top of the page