Rising soccer star plays for England

A RISING Trowbridge soccer star has gained her first international cap playing for the England U15s girls’ team in Switzerland.

Talliah Keenan, 14, played left back for the team which lost 0-2 on Friday (Feb 15) against a Swiss U16s girls team at the Lipo Park stadium in Schaffhausen.

Talliah said: “It was amazing. It was probably one of the best achievements of my life so far.

“Everyone was very nervous because we were making our England debut whereas the Swiss team had played before.”

The Clarendon Academy pupil has been playing football since she was seven years old and is highly regarded by the England women’s management team.

The FA’s technical director, Dan Ashworth, told Talliah last October: “Only the best players are selected to play for their national team and both you and your family should be proud of your involvement.

“On behalf of the FA, I’d like to wish you the best of luck for this call-up and your future international career.”

Talliah’s mother Leah Keenan, 31, of Lynwood Drive, Trowbridge, said: “If she works hard and puts her mind to it, we have been told that she could go far, so we’re hopeful.”

Talliah is a sports all-rounder who also plays cricket for Clarendon Academy to county level, and enjoys badminton, hockey, netball and cross-country running.

When she was younger she was the only girl playing for the Trowbridge Wanderers junior teams, and has also played for girls’ teams in Bath, Melksham and Westbury as well as the Wiltshire county team.

Miss Keenan said: “It has been a massive commitment, as Talliah trains four to five days a week.

“When she played for Southampton in the 2016/17 season, she was going down there for training three days a week.

“She is now part of the Bristol City Women’s FC and can no longer play for any of the local teams.”

Talliah plays centre midfield for the Bristol WFC U16s team and left back for England Women’s U15s.

Only 24 of the 80 or so players who train with the English Football Association’s Women’s soccer academy were selected to go to Switzerland.

Miss Keenan said: “Talliah was absolutely ecstatic. She didn’t know that she would go to Switzerland until the squad was announced and she gained her first cap.”

Talliah is now hoping to progress through the ranks.s to the U16s, U17s, U18s and U19s teams to the England Women’s Senior team.

Her proud mum said: “We’re absolutely delighted with her progress. It has meant a lot of hard work and dedication but Talliah is very competitive and likes to come first.”

This is Wiltshire

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