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Brynessa Gradley is a Canadian-born striker eligible for the England under-17s due to her mother's birthplace being in Essex. Brynessa, or Bryn as she is known, was invited to a training camp in Loughborough last August following research which the FA undertook from an initial enquiry from Bryn's parents.
After her attendance at the Loughborough training camp, under-17 coach Jane Ebbage has closely monitored Bryn's performances back in Canada, resulting in a second invitation to attend the Preston National Training Camp this week. Jane's eye was caught by Bryn's extraordinary successes at two major tournaments in North America.
The first, the Adidas under-16 Premier 'A' Canadian National Club Championships held near Montreal in October, saw Bryn score 9 goals and record 9 assists of Surdel United, her winter league club's total 21 goal tally in fove games, leading Surdel to a bronze medal in the prestigious top flight tournament. Next, in Orlando, Florida at the Premier 'A' SYL North American Championships in November, Bryn led her summer league Super Y-League (USL) Northwest Division champions, Whitecaps FC (2004 W-League champions), to another bronze medal with a remarkable six goals in the Whitecaps' ten-goal tally in four games. Over these two major tournaments, Bryn tallied an impressive 15 goals and 10 assists out of a total 31 goals in 9 games.
Bryn's c.v. also boasts a fourth place finish at a previous Premier 'A' National Club Championship, 3 British Columbia Premier 'A' Provincial Championships, 4 Premier 'A' Regional Championships, 4 League Championships, 2 USL SYL Northwest Division Championships, and 2 international tournament championships (Sweden's Gothia Cup & Denmark's Dana Cup), plus several scoring titles!
Bryn, a grade 11 honour roll student at West Vancouver's Sentinel Secondary School, was also the place-kicker for the Varsity Senior Boys' American Football Team who placed second in the Provincial Championships.
Unfortunately, due to a recent injury and death of her grandfather, Bryn was unable to attend the Training Camp in Preston, and therefore lost her chance to join the under-17 squad in the five-nation tournament in Ireland in March. However she hopes to gain an opportunity to try for the England under-19 team in upcoming training camps.
"I was thrilled to hear that England was interested in seeing me play," Bryn told Women's Soccer Scene. "I really enjoyed meeting Jane Ebbage and Hope Powell last August in Loughborough. They, and all the players, were very friendly and made me feel right at home, such a long way from home!
"I was very disappointed that my second call up (February) wasn't good timing for me and that I had to decline but I am interested in having the opportunity to give the under-19 team a try in the future if things work out that way. I have also had a lot of NCAA Universities show interest in me, and plan to go to school in the United States."
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