Bourne Blades women’s football team returned from their own version of the European Championship with bronze medals around their necks.

Formed two years ago, their first excursion abroad - organised by Level Up Sports Tours - was a tournament in Barcelona.

Also representing the UK were Hersham FC, a club the Blades had played before on English soil.

Goalkeeper Emma Dastur said: “We came third overall, taking bronze, and were the only team to beat the tournament winners, by 2-0. So effectively we won!”

Bourne Blades have expanded rapidly, going from one team originally to three today - two beginner sides and one at intermediate level, who won Division 1 of their league in 2023-24.

Emma added: “The group that went to Barcelona was three players from each of the teams - not intentional, it just worked out that way.

“We found a few differences in Spain. The heat was a challenge, and also the style of play.

“The Spanish teams were as physical as you would expect from home teams. Where we differed was the reactions when injured.

“The Spanish players were very expressive when in pain. We thought several players had been severely injured, only to find out that it was just cramp.

“The home teams were very welcoming and play was fierce but fair. We all wanted to win!”

Having tasted football on the continent, the Blades are eager to go there again.

Emma said: “We hope to play again with the same tour group - next time at Porto in Portugal.”