Mia Cinque thrives in the England set-up
Cambridge player earns under-18 cap
Mia Cinque is targeting more international honours after being called up to play for England under-18s women.
The 17-year-old had already represented the national team at under-17 level, and has now made the step up in age groups this season.
After being part of an England under-18s training camp last November, she kept her place at similar events in January, February, March, June and July.
The culmination was a double-header against Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland, which was played at Queen Ethelburga College in York.
“There was a real togetherness as we were away for five days, and there were a lot of familiar faces from previous camps,” said Cinque.
“I felt that I gained a lot of confidence throughout the camps, and being selected for the starting XI for the Republic of Ireland match was amazing...and winning 2-0!
“It’s always an incredible feeling being selected for camps, and even more so of an honour representing your country and when you wear the shirt.
“To top this off, Phil Neville [England ladies’ manager] came to watch and also gave us a motivational talk just before kick-off.”
Cinque was equally enamoured by the facilities at the national training centre, St George’s Park.
“They are absolutely brilliant, and the whole England set up from youth to senior levels are so fortunate to have access to these,” she said.
“Also a bonus was meeting up with the senior ladies, and Steven Gerrard on previous camps.”
Cinque left Tottenham Hotspur at the end of last season, when her time with the Cambridge Advanced Coaching Centre under-16s was also coming to an end.
She joined Ipswich FA under-21 East Region academy, in partnership with Ipswich Town academy, where they share the facilities with the academy youth teams and the Ipswich first-team squad at Playford Road.
“It was a new programme in which they focus on the players education, footballing time, and individual development at an elite level, and it was something I wanted to be a part of,” said Cinque.
“I have just re-signed for another season, and we are going into the Tier 1 WSL Academy League, against big established teams such as Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal.”
As for what is next, Cinque added: “I’ll be concentrating on finishing my second year of college, and to keep improving and developing as a player.
“My target is to be selected to transition into the under-19s’ squad.”