VIDEO: 'A great chance for them'
By Nicholas Veevers
Tuesday, 16 November, 2010
Captain encouraged by addition of younger players.
Click here to watch the video of Rio's press conference at Wembley.
England captain Rio Ferdinand has welcomed Manager Fabio Capello's plans to play youngsters Kieran Gibbs, Jordan Henderson and Andy Carroll in Wednesday's international against France at Wembley.
Ferdinand said: "I think it's fantastic - there is nothing better than seeing a young lad get his first cap.
"I look back to my debut as one of the proudest moments of my life - I can remember it quite clearly. My family were all there, got caught up in all the emotion and were so happy too.
"I just hope the lads enjoy it too (on Wednesday) and perform like they do for their clubs.
“I think Andy Carroll's done fantastic and he looks like a real talent. He’s not just a big fella who can head the ball into the net, he’s got good feet too and Newcastle have a fantastic player on their hands."
With injuries ruling out fellow defenders Ashley Cole, Glen Johnson and John Terry, the responsibility will fall on Ferdinand to lead a relatively inexperienced defence at international level.
Ferdinand, who is due to earn his 80th cap against France, added: "That's all part and parcel of playing for England, but the young players are hungry and want to come in and do well.
"We will be going out to try and win and put on a good performance for our fans - it's a great chance for the younger players.
"You can see they are ready in way they train - they are not fazed and all know each other from the youth teams and Under-21s. They have been welcomed with open arms and are loving it.
"I'm just happy to be back playing [for England] again - 80 is a great number, but I am happy to be playing.
"It is well documented France did not have a great World Cup either, but it will be a tough game and one we are all looking forward to.
“It’s a great game for us, France are a good footballing nation and it’s one we look forward to."