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England under-19 winger Dani Bird was delighted with successfully qualifying for the Second Qualifying Round after a successful week in Yorkshire. "It was a good experience and I think the whole team played really well," the highly rated young player told Women's Soccer Scene.
Dani was full of praise for the England performances over the three matches. "We hit it off from the start in the first game," she says, "we turned up late but we adapted to that and played really well. In the second game (against Romania), at the end of the day we won and it was a good win as well and it was another good result against a Wales team who were out to beat us. It was a great week and a good tournament to be involved in."
Was winning the group also a bonus? "That's what we went there to do," admits Dani. "Everyone wanted to win the group. Coming away with nine points is always a good thing to going into Phase Two with."
Last season, England were unable to get out of a hard group in the Second Qualifying Round stage but Dani feels that this time around the team can learn from those experiences and go one better, by qualifying for next summer's finals in Hungary. "The second phase last year in France was really tough," she says. "Hopefully this year we'll be a step on from that and we can improve on it. Hopefully we can go to Hungary because that is everyone's ambition - to get there for the finals."
Dani was one of the major contributors to England's qualification last week as she scored in two of the three victories, against Bulgaria and Romania. "It's definitely good to get a few goals," she smiles. "Always a great thing, and it brings your confidence up as well so I'm happy with that!"
The season has got off to a good start for Dani, both with her country and her club Fulham where, earlier in the season, she scored four goals in a game against Bristol City. She reflects the growing optimism around the club: "There's a big change around at Fulham this season. It's a transitional period and it's hard, but everyone is battling together and we'll get there, and it is going well so far. We're aiming for a mid-table position this season."
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