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England Crowned 2023 Nations League Champions

Writes: Rhys Pountain

Nations League Champions - Image: Paula Duda

Across the weekend the National team were crowned champions of the first EAFF Nations League - winning their first major tournament since 1990.

Scott Rogers’ side were victorious in all three outings having faced World and European champions Turkey as well as Poland and Spain. The first team to beat Turkey in open play since 2014!

EAFA Chairman, Steve Johnson scored the decisive goal in England’s last tournament success, having scored in extra time to crown England World champions after beating Brazil 3-2 in the 1990 World Cup final.

Speaking to the official EAFA website, the 1990 World Cup winner said: “I could not be prouder of the team and staff achievements over the last few days, the professionalism, drive and attention to detail the staff have shown to strive for success is remarkable.

“I want to thank everyone, staff and players for their commitment, it is difficult to be away from your family and friends with no financial rewards, but on days like yesterday it is all worth it.”

Changing Room Celebrations - Image: Jake Kirkman

Johnson admitted that he was rather emotional after the final whistle on Sunday, he added: “After beating Spain, I had tears in my eyes, I thought that winning a major competition might not happen again but the players desire to win was incredible.

“I want to thank Scott and his staff who have built on the previous work from Owen Coyle which has contributed to our success.”

Individual performances were also recognised throughout the tournament with youngster Thomas Atkinson collecting the ‘goalkeeper of the tournament’ and veteran David Tweed awarded ‘player of the tournament' awards.

“I would like to praise Thomas [Atkinson] and David [Tweed] for their individual success,” Johnson said.

“David for many years has been a stalwart of the England team leading by example as captain and it was only right in his first major success for England that he was top goal scorer and voted player of the tournament.

“I am absolutely made up for him.”

David Tweed poses with the Nations League trophy - Image: Jake Kirkman

EAFA rely upon sponsorship and donations in order to survive as an organisation and Johnson hopes that England’s Nations League success can attract more support for the charity.

“It can only be good news for the charity, hopefully, this will make it easier for us to attract sponsorship to deliver the various brilliant projects EAFA has to offer.

“Going forward, I think to become that if we want to compete with the likes of Turkey, we need to offer our players and staff rewards for their achievements and to move us on to the next level.

“This can only be done with your support.”


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