Schoolgirl footballer from Fenland narrowly misses out on making under-15s England squad

PUBLISHED: 12:05 02 March 2011 | UPDATED: 11:14 03 March 2011

Alana Sugden in action for Neale-Wade's under-15s girls team - Picture: RWT PHOTOGRAPHY

Alana Sugden in action for Neale-Wade's under-15s girls team - Picture: RWT PHOTOGRAPHY

Archant

A PROMISING schoolgirl footballer was one of just 32 players in her age group across the country to be selected for England trials.

Alana Sugden, 14, from March, spent two days in Telford trying to impress selectors but narrowly missed out on making the final England Under-15s Girls squad.

The Neale-Wade Community College student said: “It was a big shock to find out I was going on the trials and to be honest it was a privilege - it was all a bit surreal.

“I was nervous because I knew I’d be coming up against girls who play for clubs like Chelsea and Aston Villa but I really tried to push myself. It was my first ever trial of any sort and I think I played to the best of my ability.

“I was disappointed to not get selected but this has really spurred me on to continue improving.”

The Arsenal fan - whose hero is Thomas Vermaelen - says her aim is to now join a club’s academy system. She currently plays for Wisbech St Mary’s yellow and purple sides.

The school put forward Alana for the trial and head of PE Dave Kenning said: “Alana’s a very good defender, probably our strongest.

“I have not seen anybody better than her in terms of tackling, being so good on the ball and having such excellent understanding of the game.

“She’s part of what I think is the best girls side we’ve had - we’re proud of her as a school and a PE department.”

Alana’s mum Sam said: “We are extremely proud of her - to make the last 32 is a phenomenal achievement.

“She’s worked so hard to improve and we can’t thank those who have coached her enough.”

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