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Rachel Daly calls England start a good education

England and Houston Dash forward Rachel Daly said playing against France on Friday was a good learning experience. (Photo: Houston Dash)

England and Houston Dash forward Rachel Daly said playing against France on Friday was a good learning experience. (Photo: Houston Dash)

DONCASTER, England — Houston Dash and England forward Rachel Daly said coming up against one of the best center back pairings in Europe was a “good experience” after starting as a lone striker against France in Doncaster. The Dash forward, winning her fourth cap for her country, was starved of service for the 58 minutes she played before being replaced by Manchester City’s Nikita Parris in Friday night’s 0-0 draw.

Playing in an unfamiliar role on her own up front, with Karen Carney playing in behind her, Daly said it was a tough evening against the team ranked number three in the world.

“It was tough, but its obviously always going to be like that against a team like France, they’re a good side, they’re up there with the best in the world,” she said. “But I think we put in a good shift, and overall it was a decent performance.”

In Wendi Renard and Laura Georges, Daly came up against two of Europe’s most experienced defenders. There were a few occasions when she looked like she might get in behind the French backline, but either a good piece of defending or a slightly over-hit pass, prevented her from doing so. Daly was honest in her assessment of playing against Renard and Georges.

“They are both really good players and its always hard going up against decent centre backs,” she said. “Their game is very different to other defenders, you think you have the beating of Renard, and then she gets the legs over you. She is a great player. Its tough, but it was a good experience.”

Head Coach Mark Sampson has tinkered with his forward line over the last few games, with plenty of options available to him due to the abundance of attacking talent that England currently has. In terms of his observation of Daly’s performance, he was pleased with the shift she put in.

“I think with Rach she gives us another option and in the main we’d like her as a number nine,” he said. “I’ve had some good chats with Randy (Waldrum, Dash coach) about how we can develop her qualities to get her to that international standard, and it was obviously a big night for her starting against a really tough opponent tonight. It was another big step in the right direction for Rach, she’s growing as a player, but we really want to kick her onto the next level.”

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