FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup record

England have qualified for just two of the six previous editions of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup. The Young Lionesses reached the semi-finals in the inaugural 2008 finals with a talented team including the likes of Lucy Bronze, Izzy Christiansen, Jordan Nobbs and Rachel Daly. Then, after three successive qualifying failures, they returned to the tournament at Jordan 2016, reaching the last eight thanks to a Georgia Stanway-inspired victory over Brazil.

The road to India 2021

England made an impressive start to UEFA’s qualifying competition for India 2021, winning all three of their matches in the first stage. Light work was made of Croatia (2-0), Bosnia and Herzegovina (4-0) and Belgium (4-1) before the elite round of qualifying was cancelled in August 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was at that stage that UEFA took the decision to nominate England, Germany and Spain, as holders of the highest coefficient ranking in the confederation.

The coach

Though still in her early 30s, Lydia Bedford’s youth belies extensive coaching experience – mainly within the FA structure. But while most of her years in the game have been spent working with England sides between the ages of U-15 and U-19, this former physical education teacher also made headlines in 2015 by becoming the first woman to coach a senior men’s team in England when she took charge of St Neots Town U-21s.

The stat

1 – The number of goals England conceded in their three UEFA U-17 qualifying matches, with Belgium the only team to break through the Young Lionesses’ solid defence.

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