St Gregory’s student joins up with Young Lionesses

A talented footballer from St Gregory’s school in Tunbridge Wells was recently selected to join England women’s under-17 football team to compete in Spain at the MIMA Cup.

After being selected by coach Natalie Henderson, Year 11 student Eva joined the Young Lionesses’ 24-player squad, jetting off with the team in early February to the tournament at the Pinatar Arena in Murcia.

The MIMA Cup, dedicated to advancing women’s football, proved to be a thrilling challenge for the rising football star.

Eva’s England debut on February 3 saw her grace the field against the Netherlands, playing a full 45-minute second half. Following this, she showcased her talent in a full 90-minute match on February 5 against the Philippines, earning praise for her ‘impressive’ contribution. The Young Lionesses’ 2-0 victory paved their way to the MIMA Cup final on February 8.

England’s under-17s dominated the final match against Scotland, with an impressive 5-0 victory and securing both the tournament and the coveted MIMA Cup trophy.

Reflecting on her time playing with the Young Lionesses in Spain, Eva commented; “After eight years of playing at Academy level for Chelsea and Arsenal, representing England was a truly amazing experience. Winning all of our matches and lifting the tournament trophy at the end was brilliant. It was great to be part of such a talented team of players, and I’m very grateful for the opportunity to have made my international debut.”

Eva’s journey began at St Gregory’s in 2019 when she secured a place in the school’s Football Academy. Run in partnership with MSporti, the St Gregory’s Football Academy was established in 2014 with an aim to focus on the development of local, talented football players and has since gained international recognition.

During her time at St Gregory’s, Eva’s leadership qualities on and off the field have been evident, leading the girls’ football team to West Kent Schools’ glory for four consecutive years and being an integral part of the squad which reached the Kent Cup final last season.

Assistant Headteacher at St Gregory’s School, Mr Cumber, told the Times; “We are extremely proud of Eva, she is an incredible talent and it’s great to see her being recognised at the highest level.

“Despite her commitment to Arsenal ladies, Eva represents the school at every opportunity, manages her academic studies and remains incredibly humble despite her success. She has all the attributes to make it to the very top.”

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