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Aggborough to host England's rising stars
8:10am Friday 4th October 2013 in News
ENGLAND boss Kenny Swain can’t wait for tonight’s Victory Shield contest at Aggborough.
A bumper crowd is anticipated for the match which is being televised live on Sky and he claimed: “I have to say, it is always an exciting time when the Victory Shield comes around in any new season.
It is a unique opportunity for people all around the country to come to these matches and see the best young English talent which is coming through our system and we start the campaign in a ‘football town ’of Kidderminster tonight.
As with all of the games in this tournament, there won’t be a lack of passion from either squad with national pride and determination to perform well being high on the agenda for the players.
It’s also a return to Kidderminster for England, as I remember coming to some U19 games against Yugoslavia and Macedonia here in 2002 and seeing a young Wayne Rooney in action.
We are grateful to the club for staging the game and hopefully between ourselves and Wales, we’ll put on a good display to make people go away thinking once again that some very good technical players exist on our shores.
It is a real honour for all of us to be working with these youngsters, introducing them to the international arena and sharing the pride enjoyed by their families, clubs and schools. Many former England U16 players from recent years are now filtering through to the Senior squad, with the likes of Theo Walcott, Daniel Sturridge, Danny Welbeck, Jack Rodwell, Jack Wilshere, Jonjo Shelvey, Raheem Sterling and Ross Barkley all being involved after taking their first international steps with our U16s. In the last Under-21 squad there were 13 players who started their international careers at U16 level, so a real pathway has emerged.
This is the start of what promises to be an exciting new season for our U15s and U16s with an increased programme now in place for us. Over the last four or five years, the number of players challenging for a place in the squad has increased and with the support of The FA, clubs and schools, we can look forward to meeting that challenge. With three Victory Shield games first and a rare opportunity before Christmas to compete overseas in a Tournament against Brazil, USA and Portugal, I believe this can only enhance the experiences for our boys on top of their improving club programmes.
Further to that, we have also been invited by UEFA to host an U16 Development Tournament which will see Spain, Denmark and Belgium coming to England at our magnificent St. George’s Park for three games early next year, which will replace our regular friendly international fixture in Europe around the February half-term. And then the Montaigu Tournament in France during the Easter break provides us once again with world opposition before the summer Nordic Tournament completes a programme which caters for all...performers today and potential for the future!
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