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Tomlinson predicts bright future for England after impressive EU Nations

Head coach Simon Tomlinson believes the future looks bright for England’s women after a side with little international experience produced some impressive displays at the EU Nations U17s tournament.

England finished fourth in the six-team competition in Brno, Czech Republic, after winning two and losing three of their five matches.

An experienced South African team took top spot after winning all their games, with hosts Czech Republic second and Slovakia third.

However, it was the first taste of international competition for the vast majority of the England squad and Tomlinson was quick to praise the team ethos.

They opened their campaign with an 11-5 loss against Slovakia before thumping Lithuania 34-5.

Defeats against the Czech Republic (12-8) and South Africa (19-4) followed but England ended the tournament on a high with an impressive 17-8 triumph over Austria.

Encouraging signs

Lucy Bullock top scored with 16 goals, while captain Harriet Dickens weighed in with 13.

Tomlinson said: “It was a really good tournament.

“For most of these girls, it was their first international experience so it was a young team but there were a lot of encouraging signs.

“You can take a group of girls away and they don’t always gel but this group got on really well. 

“So the future looks good and it’s a case of them kicking on and keeping them playing together in these kind of competitions as match experience is invaluable.”


England 5 Slovakia 11

Scorers: Lucy Bullock (two), Isabella Balzaretti, Juliet Lyons, Isabelle Robb. 

Tomlinson said: “We played Slovakia first and would have done better if we had played them later in the tournament – it was a bit of a shock for them. They did okay against a team which finished 11th or 12th in the Europeans and they learned a lot from their first game.”

England 34 Lithuania 5

Scorers: Lucy Bullock (six), Phillipa Danielson (five), Harriet Dickens (four), Laura Skelton (four), Isabelle Robb (three), Elizabeth Ross (three), Amelie Cornell (two), Juliet Lyons (two), Nyah Tomlinson (two), Charlotte Winstanley (two), Isabella Balzaretti,

Tomlinson said: “Lithuania were a much lower level and it enabled the team to play without any fear. The beauty of that win was there a was a spread of goals across every player in the squad and it was a really good team performance.”

England 8 Czech Republic 12

Scorers: Harriet Dickens (three), Lucy Bullock (two), Nyah Tomlinson (two), Juliet Lyons.

Tomlinson said: “We had a really good game against Czech Republic. We were in the game but a little lapse in concentration and inexperience cost us, otherwise that would have been a really good result. It could have been a bit closer but it was a very good game. They played well together as a team and it was the best game we played all tournament, even though they did not win it.”

England 4 South Africa 19

Scorers: Lucy Bullock (three), Nyah Tomlinson

Tomlinson said: “The South African team were slightly stronger than anyone as they were predominantly 2004. It was tough as they were so well organised. They have spent a lot of time together but we did well. The South African coach said to me afterwards that our first quarter was the best a team had played against them.”

England 17 Austria 8

Scorers: Harriet Dickens (six), Lucy Bullock (three), Isobelle Robb (three), Jade Harper, Charlotte Winstanley, Amelie Cornell, Juliet Lyons, Ruby Rosser.

Tomlinson said: “The girls had to come out and play their best which they did. I wanted them to go and show what they could do and they did really well.”

Total goals for the EU Nations U17s tournament

Lucy Bullock (16), Harriet Dickens (13), Isobelle Robb (seven), Phillipa Danielson (five), Juliet Lyons (five), Nyah Tomlinson (five), Laura Skelton (four), Amelie Cornell (three), Elizabeth Ross (three), Charlotte Winstanley (three), Isabella Balzaretti (two), Jade Harper (one), Ruby Rosser (one).


Isabella Balzaretti (Coventry), Lucy Bullock (Otter), Amélie Cornell (City of Liverpool), Philippa Danielson (Croydon Amphibians / Otter), Harriet Dickens (City of Manchester), Jade Harper (Hucknall), Juliet Lyons (Croydon Amphibians / Otter), Emily Mason (Cheltenham), Sabrina Radzik-Rahman (Watford Water Polo Club), Isobelle Robb (Tyldesley), Lily Ross (Cheltenham), Ruby Rosser (Worthing), Laura Skelton (Rotherham Metro Waterpolo Club / Sheffield), Nyah Tomlinson (Taunton / Exeter), Lottie Winstanley (Watford Water Polo Club).

Support staff

Head coach: Simon Tomlinson; Assistant coach: Katy Cutler; Team manager: Vicky Dickens.