TAUNTON footballer Emily Syme says she had “a really positive experience” at the Uefa Women’s Under-19 Championship last month, despite England being eliminated in the group stage.

Syme assisted England’s goal in their 2-1 defeat to eventual finalists Germany, did not play in the 1-0 loss to Spain, and then came on as a substitute in the 1-0 victory over Belgium at the tournament in Scotland.

Germany and Spain have mopped up most of the Under-17 and Under-19 titles in recent years, and Syme said: “I thought we played very well, against the top teams.

“To compete so ell against them is encouraging for us.”

In terms of her own showings at the tournament, she added: “It was a really positive experience, learning a lot about tournament football and how players are managed in the games.

“I felt I played well, and I’m happy with my minutes [on the pitch].

“The next age group for me is the Under-21s; I’m not sure when the next camp is, but I’m hoping to be involved.”

Syme’s attention now turns to club football, having moved from Yeovil Town Women to Aston Villa Women over the summer.

Villa play in the second tier of English women’s football, the Championship, with their first game being at home to Sheffield United on Sunday, August 18.

“I’d heard good things about Villa, and that was reinforced when I visited,” Syme said.

“I want to spend my time training there, and the Championship is a good high level.

“We want to push for promotion, which makes for a good competitive environment.”

Villa’s head coach is Gemma Davies, who was only 25 when she was appointed as boss in June 2018.

Syme added: “I’d heard a lot of positive things about her [Davies], too.

“She’s very enthusiastic, engaging and she wants the best for us [the players].

“As a coach I think she can develop and improve my game.”

Syme faces a balancing act between studying at Loughborough University and playing for Villa over the upcoming campaign, but it’s a challenge she’s relishing.

“I needed a club with the flexibility to allow me to study and play,” the midfielder said.

“I’m used to [balancing studying and football] from my A-levels, and I’m looking forward to it.”