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Great Britain U17 Girls have been crowned European Champions at the 2023 IFAF European Junior Flag Football Championships in Italy.

The squad broke the hearts of the home nation by claiming a 19-6 victory over the Italians to take gold – and mirror the success of their adult counterparts, GB Women who took gold at European Championships in Ireland two weeks ago.

Pictures: Andy Keith

GB grew in confidence as the tournament developed – coming through the group stage with a record of 3 win and 2 losses – including defeat at the hands of Italy which was avenged when it truly mattered. Remarkably, the GB U17 Girls were a squad of only 7 players.  Every other U17 girls team have 12 – 15 players.

In the U17 boys’ competition, Great Britain finished fourth – defeated 45-18 by Italy in the Bronze Medal match.

GB also competed in the U15 mixed competition – which featured athletes of both genders for the first time, reflecting flag football’s highly inclusive nature and integration of male and female athletes in international sport.

Italy came away with the gold medal, beating Czech Republic 27-20 in the final. GB fell just short of top 4 following a one-touchdown loss to Austria.

In total more than 400 young athletes from 12 nations competed at the tournament at Fattoria La Principina in Grossetto.