A HARTLEPOOL College student came off the bench but was unable to help England Women’s U17s reach the finals of the European Championships, writes Richard Mennear.
Midfielder Brogan McHugh (left) said the players were “gutted” after losing the semi-final to Spain 3-0 but Lois Fidler’s side can still reach next year’s FIFA Women’s U17 World Cup via Sunday’s third place play-off.
Andrea Sanchez scored twice and Pilar Garrote notched the other as Spain beat the Young Lions at Burton Albion FC’s Pirelli Stadium to reach the final.
Instead, England will now face Italy on Sunday in the third/fourth place play-off to make it to Costa Rica in March.
Brogan is a promising footballer and studies at Hartlepool Sixth Form College, in Blakelock Road, while she also plays for Sunderland Ladies.
The 16-year-old, who came on as a 77th minute substitute against Spain, said: “We are all gutted we didn’t make it to the final but we go again on Sunday as we still have the chance to qualify for the World Cup which is our main aim.
“Getting on the pitch in the semi-final was such an honour, it’s just a shame we didn’t win.”
Brogan is part of the Lindsay Johnson Football Academy for girls and elite athlete scholarship scheme at the College and receives financial support, elite athlete mentoring and strength and conditioning support as well as eight hours of coaching per week, while studying towards a BTEC Extended Diploma in Sport and Exercise Science.
Ben Robinson, director of sport at the College, said: “It’s great to see one of our scholarship academy athletes doing so well and testament to her talent, great work ethic and commitment.
“Brogan is a huge asset to the college and it’s great that our elite sport programme is attracting such high level performers”
Spain contest the final against Germany at Chesterfield’s Proact Stadium on Sunday.
The top three teams at the Euros – the two finalists and the winner of the third/fourth place play-off – will qualify for next year’s U17 World Cup in Costa Rica.