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Following on from their success of winning the AFA Centre Of Excellence League for the first time, Chelsea's under-16 girls team spent a week in Denmark competing in the Dana Cup, one of the largest youth tournaments in the world.
Placed in a group with teams from Denmark, Sweden, and Norway, the girls experienced a variety of playing styles. The team qualified as winners from their group with wins of 4-1, 6-0, and 1-0, which put them up against Byttorps IF of Sweden in the knock out stages. After a strong display with another 4-1 win, the team were then required to play the quarter final in the evening of the same day against a strong FC Horsens side, who originate from Denmark. The players drew on all their strength to produce the performance of the tournament as they beat the Danes 4-0, with Amy Brant scoring twice early in the game.
The semi final draw meant a morning kick off the following day against LISC, from Illinois, USA. In torrential rain and wind the 3-0 result was hard work and draining on the players, with the Final scheduled to be played that evening in the Fortuna Hjorring Stadium.
Chelsea's opponents in the final were Reading FC, who they knew well from the league programme. With both games drawn during the season, the final was always going to be a tight affair. Chelsea started brightly, with good pace and quality, and took a deserved lead through the outstanding Nikki Brown. Reading came out strongly in the second half and, with ten minutes left, equalised. Following extra time, the teams could still not be seperated and the final was decided on penalty kicks. Kirby Anderson, Jennifer Osmond, Sarah Kempson and Nikki Brown all duly netted to ensure a 4-1 win on penalties, followed by the Dana Cup being presented to Chelsea captain Jo Chubb, and her teammates.
Lessons learnt on the trip were invaluable, playing so many games in a short space of time, dealing with fatigue and the physical side of continental football, as well as understanding necessity of rest and nutrition.
Representing the club abroad was an honour for the players and, with so many people wishing to meet with them, the players behaved impeccably and were a credit to the Club.
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