Duggan wraps up perfect birthday present

Toni Duggan was left to reflect on a day that "could not have been any better" after marking her 18th birthday with the opener as England won the UEFA European Women's U19 Championship for the first time.

Toni Duggan (centre) leads England's celebrations
Toni Duggan (centre) leads England's celebrations ©Sportsfile

Toni Duggan may have been "lost for words" but, having marked her 18th birthday with the opening goal as England claimed the UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship, she paid tribute to a combined effort from players and coaches alike.

Four goals
"It's an amazing feeling; words can't express what I feel," said the Everton LFC striker. "We've put a lot of hard work in lately and it has really come through on the pitch. The girls are just really enjoying the moment now." As if on cue another cheer echoed around the waiting England team coach, marking the commencement of another bout of singing Duggan, you feel, would be happy to lead from the front. She certainly did on the pitch, ending the tournament with four goals, the last setting England on course for their 2-0 final victory in Borisov. "I got another goal so I'm made up but I'm more made up for the team," she said. "Yet again the defence did phenomenally so the credit really does have to go to the whole team."

'Bring on next year'
Indeed, having been one of the few positives with three goals as Mo Marley's side returned home after the group stage last season, she is happy to share the limelight this time around, even on her birthday. "I don't think the day could have been any better, but it wasn't about me it was about the team," she said. "That includes all the coaches, the staff that have been out here – they've put in a shift, they've done all the hard work so it really is a victory for the whole squad. It was a disappointment [12 months ago] but those setbacks help you for the future. Sometimes you have to take a step back before you really move forward and we've bounced back in style. Bring on next year." First , though, Duggan and her team-mates have some celebrating to do.