Sarah Wilson expressed her pride after Durham Women’s young side put in a battling display at Manchester City.
Despite going down 3-0 to the top tier side – who named a team packed with internationals – the Wildcats left with their heads held high after another encouraging out.
And that left the club’s captain delighted following the final whistle.
“We are really proud,” said Wilson.
“We conceded and we were quite frustrated with the way we conceded in the first half, but we managed to ride it out and get to half-time.
“Then we knew they were going to come out absolutely flying and I think it’s credit to the girls the changes that they made and the players they brought on.
“They showed us a lot of respect, as we did to them.
“It’s obviously disappointing to come away with nothing but we are really proud of the girls and what we came here to do.”
The Wildcats handed opportunities to youngsters in the clash at the Academy Stadium with Grace Ayre, Hannah Greenwood, Lily Crosthwaite and Erin Nicholson all featured – with the latter making her senior debut.
And Wilson was enthused by the performances put in by the up-and-coming stars.
“They were phenomenal,” she said.
“Grace at the back, Hannah in the middle, Lily up top and Erin coming on – it’s fantastic and they’re the future of the club.
“Those girls are getting the experience to play against Olympians and literally the best players in world football.
“We’re so proud of them all.”
It’s now a quick turnaround for the Wildcats who return to FA Women’s Championship action at Crystal Palace on Sunday.
“That’s obviously our main focus,” explained Wilson.
“We’ve got a few days to rest and recover and we’ve got fantastic support behind us.
“The team behind the team are working hard to make sure we’re ready for the weekend and all our preparation has gone into that to make sure we’re ready to go again.”