North Ferriby United have announced that their Rapid Solicitors Stadium has been selected by UEFA to host a European Women's U19 Championship International.
The second qualifying round tie between Austria v Wales will be played on Saturday 31 March 2012 with a 2.00pm kick off.
Club Chairman Les Hare commented “this is fantastic news for both our club and local community. We have always been proud of our playing surface and facilities here, but to be recommended by the FA and eventually selected by UEFA is a credit to everyone connected with North Ferriby. Who would have thought we would ever be hosting a full blow European Championship International!”
As a role model FA Charter Standard Community Club, North Ferriby run over 20 teams, included in which are 4 girls’ teams and an open age ladies team. Staging a woman’s International is certain to attract significant local interest and help promote what is currently one of the fastest growing participation sports.
Adam Lowthorpe Chief Executive East Riding FA said “It is fantastic for local football that a UEFA qualifier will be held in the region, and a fitting reward for everyone at North Ferriby United who will quite rightly be immensely proud to stage an International fixture. We look forward to promoting this through our networks and in particular the support of the ever expanding East Riding Girls League should ensure a good attendance and inspire female players.”
Glenn Lavery, (Editorial Assistant) for The FA Group Communications Division confirmed that for the second time in four years England will be host to UEFA’s European Women’s U19 Championship qualifiers.
“The east of the country will be visited by some of Europe’s finest young female players as Scunthorpe United, Grimsby Town, Lincoln City and North Ferriby United will stage Elite Qualifying Round matches between Mo Marley’s Young Lionesses, Wales, Austria and Finland, with the group winners progressing to the Finals” he said.
In 2009 the U19s hosted Belarus, Norway and Slovakia in the north west of the country, just two months after their predecessors had lifted the European title for the first-ever time, and Head Coach Marley will be aiming to steer her latest crop of youngsters to this year’s Finals in Turkey.
Marley stated, “It’s great to be taking these qualifiers to this part of the country,” who will take her charges to La Manga in preparation for the Elite Round.
“We’ve got Lincoln Ladies and Doncaster Rovers Belles in that area and they have really helped to raise the profile of the women’s game, certainly since the launch of The FA WSL. Leeds isn’t a million miles away and they have got a sizeable Centre of Excellence, so I would think there would be a good appetite for these games.
And what of England’s Euro opponents?
“We’ve got three tough games ahead of us,” predicted Marley. “Wales are hosting the U19 Finals in 2013, so I’m sure they’ll be looking to put things in place for that. Their new Finnish manager has given a lot of younger players a chance in the seniors, so they have been getting good experience at the highest level and they will no doubt want to make those experiences count, both for this year and 2013.
“We haven’t played Austria on too many occasions over the years. In fact, I think the last time was in the 2007 Euro qualifiers and that was one of the hardest games we had played in a while, and we only narrowly came through it.
“Finland, too, will be a good test for us. They are traditionally a strong side and never give you an easy game, so we’ll look forward to that.
“We’ll give each of the teams out utmost respect and I can’t wait to get going again.”
UEFA European Women’s U19 Championship
Elite Qualifying Round
31 March – 5 April 2012
Blundell Park, Sincil Bank, Glanford Park, The Rapid Solicitors Stadium
ENGLAND, Austria, Finland, Wales
Tickets are priced £3 for adults, £1 for concessions and are available from the host club's ticket hotline