Future Voices: Norfolk girls enjoy sizzling summer of soccer in Sweden

Thorpe St Andrew School's girls football team, with coach Alistair Shearer.

Thorpe St Andrew School's girls football team, with coach Alistair Shearer. - Credit: Archant

A group of Norwich schoolgirls have been reflecting on their part in an amazing summer for women's football.

The team from Thorpe St Andrew School were part of this year's Gothia Cup, the world's largest youth football tournament.

The event, staged in Gothenburg, Sweden, took place just days after England finished third in the World Cup in Canada.

The girls were very excited at the chance to show off their skills abroad. The tournament consisted of more than 1,600 teams from over 70 different countries including India, USA and Canada.

The team from Thorpe was just one of four English teams in the under 15s age category. The scale of the tournament did not scare the Thorpe team though. Squad member Abbie Dack, said: 'Getting the opportunity to play in such a massive youth tournament was the best part.'

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Captained by Bethany Childs, the team played four games, all against Swedish opponents.

Unfortunately, they lost three of the games, but gained a respectable draw in the fourth. Although the team did not reach the final stages, Abbie believes that the results were not the priority.

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'It didn't matter how we did in our games because we lost as a team, and over the week we became one big family,' she said, adding: 'Every single player has improved dramatically from the start to the end of this experience.'

Abbie thinks the event has certainly inspired her to continue playing and practising, and she is receiving plenty of encouragement.

She said: 'My coach said I should think about playing into adulthood, maybe not professionally but certainly in a local league, because it's a skill I don't want to lose. This has made me seriously think about continuing football further than what I'd ever thought about before.'

Well done girls and good luck for next season!

Click here to find out more about the Gothia Cup.

Emily Oxbury, 14, Thorpe St Andrew School

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