“With the dust settling on the weekend's game and our players and coaches heading back to their clubs to prepare for the first games of the BAFA National Leagues season, I wanted to take this opportunity to reflect on the progress of the GB U19 programme so far and extend some thanks.
Obviously, we would prefer to be celebrating and looking forward to the European U19 Championships in Italy this Summer, unfortunately, that wasn’t to be. However, the past year has still been a success for the GB U19 programme off the field.
The team was restarted after a hiatus of several years and a whole new group of coaches and staff were assembled from across Britball. This group trialled, assessed and selected a fantastic group of committed young footballers who earned the honour of pulling on the Great Britain jersey and representing their clubs, their families and their country.
Across all three games we participated in, our players acted with heart, dedication and respect for the opposition. Good luck for the future gentlemen – there’s a great football career ahead if you keep up this attitude.
I’d like to extend my thanks to the coaches and staff who clocked up untold hours of work and planning that went unseen by many. This has laid a strong foundation that will allow GB U19 to grow beyond the games we’ve had so far. I’d also like to recognise the players who may not have made the final squads selected for games but who gave their all on scout teams and tested the starters, as well as those who attended trials across the country last March and made the selection process so hard.
However, perhaps the biggest thanks of all goes to the parents and families of our team members for their tremendous help and support. They’ve filmed games and training, they’ve fundraised and promoted, they’ve staffed the entrance to our home game and acted as chain crew on game day, they’ve travelled to Arnhem and Amiens to support the squad. They’ve sacrificed time and more so their children can have memories that’ll last a lifetime. We cannot thank you enough, your efforts have not gone unnoticed!
This year has been incredible, but I’m sure it’s just the beginning for the GB U19 programme. Look out for news on future plans over the coming months.”
GB U19 Head Coach
Photo credit - Hannah Elton-Dobbin