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11 Jul 2017
Northeast eager to build on English success
The England Women's coach wants beach soccer to grow further after their success in Nazaré
Following their Euro Beach Soccer Cup triumph in Nazaré at the weekend, England Women’s coach Perry Northeast is hopeful the success will serve as a catalyst for the sport in the country.
Wins over the Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland ensured England’s women the trophy on the west coast of Portugal on Sunday in what was the second edition of the event to take place.
While women’s beach soccer continues to make strong progress across Europe, Northeast - a coach educator at the University of Chichester - is eager to see the game become more of a fixture in England’s sporting landscape.
“It’s not just three days of hard work, it’s been a case of many of the girls going on a lot of different journeys and it’s been a matter of years,” he told Beach Soccer Worldwide in Nazaré.
“It’s taken years to get England’s women’s beach soccer to this level - it’s basically been five years in the making really. But I said it before the tournament, this is the strongest group of players we’ve ever had.
“That’s not just technically but mentally as well and their mentalities were really tested at the end [when Switzerland scored to make it 4-3] with a minute to go against a team we consider to be one of the best teams there’s ever been in the ladies game.
“They had to hold on and they deserve it.”
Historically any focus on beach soccer in England has been on the men’s team, but now could be an ideal opportunity for their female counterparts to gain their share of the limelight.
“We said before the game today that we had to win, not just for ourselves, but to try and get some recognition, some media attention and to grow the league, to make players want to come and play in England,” added Northeast - himself a former England international on the sand.
“We recruit players generally from a good level of grass teams, they come in with a good attitude and now we just want the game to grow.
“We have 10 amazing players but what we have to do now is try get 50 or 100 amazing players to keep us at the top of the game.”