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Women's Football News
England under-17 manager Jane Ebbage was a happy person following their 2-1 friendly victory over Switzerland at Woking.
"The Swiss are always a very difficult team to play against," Jane told Women's Soccer Scene. "They are tough, physical and work really hard. They play a game that breaks play up and I thought our girls responded really well to it, and I am very pleased with the performance.
"The whole case is that the players play to the strategy that we lay out and that was the message at half time as well - if you get sucked into a fight it can go either way, but if you stick to the game plan you will go on and win, and when they did that it was fine."
Whilst acknowledging that the win was a team effort, Jane was full of praise for two-goal striker Ellen White and goalkeeper Helen Alderson. "You can't ask any more from a striker than two goals and, I think, a number of chances as well," she said. "Helen kept us in the game at times, she had some one-on-ones to deal with and came out and smothered well, but it's a team game and the squad is strong throughout. Lizzie Edwards was captain and played a very good leading role, Remi Allen is just 15 but came on and did well, nothing fazes her and she dealt with the competition very well but I wouldn't really want to single any of them out."
So what is lined up next for the squad? "This age group is really for assessment, development and talent identification," Jane replies. "There are now regional fitness tests and a training camp where there is all to prove again.
"The squad is probably one of the strongest we have had at this level. The substitutions (in the game) are more for experience and development - of course you want to win and you put your team out in the best possible way to win the game, but the aim is still to give them as much experience as we can at the youngest age."
There is also plenty of incentive to follow in the footsteps of current star players. "When we played our last home game against Belgium at Yeading two years ago, we had Karen Carney and Lianne Sanderson in the side, and Eniola Aluko played the year before that. When you look at what they're doing now, it's so nice to see."
Jane also admitted that she was astonished at the excellent attendance of 1,094 to watch the match. "What can you say?" she admitted. "Women's football in this country has just grown and grown since the Euros, and I hope that the people who came enjoyed it. The girls deserve a stage like this and it was fantastic to hear the crowd chanting for England and singing the girls' names as well!"
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