A SUFFOLK parent has spoken of his pride after seeing his daughter captain England.
Eloise Ward, who is 14 and from Felixstowe, skippered the England Under-16 Independent Schools FA (ISFA) side in a goalless draw against Worcestershire at St George's Park on Tuesday.
She then made her international debut in the 6-1 victory over Scotland at the same venue the following night. She played for an hour in the 80-minute match, although she didn’t wear the armband as the regular captain returned to the side.
Eloise, who is a Year 10 sports scholar St Joseph’s College in Ipswich, normally plays in midfield or as a striker, but has been selected for the squad as a centre back.
Her father Tamlyn Ward said: “From the moment Eloise received the invite for the regional trials right up to playing and captaining the national team, she has maintained a humbleness and a drive to be the best she can be.
“I am in awe of her determination to make the best of the talent she has and couldn’t be prouder of where she has got to, but also in the way she goes about it.
“To be able to say ‘my daughter captained the National side at St George’s Park’ is surreal.”
Eloise (pictured above, third from left) was initially selected for the North & Midlands (Suffolk is the cut off point for the Midlands) ISFA Representative team playing against two separate South teams back in June 2018 at Bisham Abbey.
This also doubled up as an initial trial and as a result Eloise was selected for the final National side trial at Queenswood School, Hatfield in September.
She then received the good news days after that she had been selected for the final 18-player squad for the 2018-19 season.
Eloise plays as a striker/attacking midfielder for club side Stowupland Falcons, in midfield (when available) for Felixstowe & Walton United Under-15 Boys and in midfield for Suffolk County Schools’ FA.
Eloise also attends and plays for the Suffolk FA Advanced Coaching Centre sponsored by HomeStore Self Storage.
Her next involvement with the England ISFA side is a potential fixture in January versus the English Schools’ FA Under-15 squad, before a possible tour to Scotland in February or March.