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England Under-19 Head Coach Mo Marley could not hide her delight after her team's stunning 3-0 victory over Sweden.
"I am more than pleased, especially with this being next year's team," Mo told Women's Soccer Scene. "Putting everything into perspective, it was as good a result as we've had at this level.
"The Swedish team is potentially two years older than ours and preparing for the UEFA Championships, so that shows the scale of what we have achieved. I never doubted the players but it has surpassed our expectations.
"Only Heather Scheuber and Steph Houghton had any real experience at this level so to come away with a great result and great performance is fantastic. But we must be careful of an expectation level, we haven't qualified for the UEFA Finals and mustn't get too carried away as there is a lot of football to be played."
Mo was full of praise for all of the team, in particular Steph Houghton who played in an unaccustomed left back role and scored an outstanding goal. "Steph showed her ability and can play comfortably in any position," she said. "She is technically very gifted and a big leader. Carla Cantrell did very well and, like Sian Larkin, it was hard to believe it was her debut."
It was a memorable night for Ashlee Hincks, who scored within minutes of coming on for her debut. "It was a good piece of management, a great substitution," quipped Mo. "But everything came off tonight. The first goal was a cracker, we had just swapped over the wingers and then Becky Hall helped create a goal and it all went from there."
Five of the substitutes came from the under-17 team and Mo is keen to keep up their progression to the higher level. "The players on the bench have no experience but we feel it is time to invest with them," she said. "In the past our aim was to develop players for the seniors and give them competitive experience but, with the Under-17 Championships starting next year, the new players will already have tasted that kind of environment and that can only contribute with that development in the future."
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