Head coach Danny Kerry was bursting with pride at England's display in the Hockey World Cup as they exited the tournament after a 2-0 defeat to the Netherlands.
Lidewij Welten and Laurien Leurink got the goals at the Lee Valley Hockey Centre on the London Olympic Park to secure the Netherlands progress to the semi-finals.
But Kerry couldn’t fault the effort of his team throughout the quarter-final as they had plenty of defending to do against the world’s top ranked side.
He said: “I am really proud of the way they went about it today, Holland were the better team, and the better team won.
“Other than two passes, we defended really well, and the Netherlands had to capitalise on some passes which led to the goals.
“I’m really happy with how we went about our business of team defence. We didn’t hold onto the ball for long enough, so we were never going to create enough. That will come.
“As a coach you can’t ask for more about the way they went about their business.”
The Dutch enjoyed the better of the early chances with Maddie Hinch making a number of close range saves in the England goal while Caia van Maasakker hit the bar.
And the Netherlands took the lead through Welten on 14 minutes as she put the ball between Hinch’s legs for her fourth goal of the World Cup.
A clearance off the line kept England at 1-0 through to half-time but the Dutch extended their lead almost immediately upon the restart.
An interception saw the Netherlands set up a two-on-one and Leurink made no mistake with the goal at her mercy and Hinch already committed.
England threw everything at the Dutch in the final quarter, buoyed on by a vocal home grow at the Olympic Park, but were unable to find a breakthrough.
Despite the defeat, Kerry was confident that the experience would hold those players involved in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in two years time in good stead.
He added: “I can talk about Great Britain now as we go into a two-year phase into Tokyo, there’s some good home nations athletes that will come into this side for the GB squad.
“You’re looking at an extra four or five players and suddenly the competition and depth grows and if you take what they’ve learned here and add another two years, you’re on a good trajectory.”