Kenny Swain looking forward to 'important' tournament in France.
By Nicholas Veevers
England U16s are back in action on Tuesday evening, as they kick-off the Montaigu Tournament with a fixture against Japan in St. Laurent-sur-Sevre.
It’s the first of four matches for Kenny Swain’s
Young Lions, as they look to gain that extra bit of international experience under their belts following their first campaign with England and also defend the title which was won in the same competiton last year.
Swain, who has only just returned from the U17s’ Euro qualifiers in Georgia where he was assisting John Peacock
, recognises the importance of this competition in helping the players to develop on the international stage and that’s why England are regulars in western France at this time of year.
"This is always a good tournament for us, because it gets the lads into a new environment away from home and in a tournament scenario,” said Swain, who has selected an 18-man squad
for the trip.
"It's all quite new to them now, but with the U17s being a competition year next season, it just gives them a taste of what it's like with the routines and schedules of being away for something like this.
"They will play games in quick succession and this is something they won't have experienced at international level yet.”
After Japan, England will face Morocco on Thursday to decide where they finish in their mini-group. The nation which tops the group will progress to the semi-final, whilst the remaining two teams will play off against the other groups on Saturday before the final classification matches take place on Monday.
With the likes of France, Cameroon, Mexico, Portugal, USA, UAE, Russia, Ivory Coast and China all involved, competition will be fierce and that is something which Swain believes is invaluable for the squad.
"Montaigu always attracts a good standard of teams from around the world, so again, that's a new experience for the players,” he added.
"It's always an important part of our development programme so we're looking forward to it.”