Kenny's joy at latest Shield success
Thursday, 31 March, 2011
Head Coach reflects on another Victory Shield success and the future.
By James Marshall
England U16s Head Coach Kenny Swain was happy with his side’s win against Scotland as the Young Lions retained the Sky Sports Victory Shield in Morecambe for a tenth successive season.
Goals from David Moli and Ryan Inniss in the first half were enough to secure a 2-1 win over the Auld Enemy, as the Young Lions also showed their resolve to see off a Scottish fightback in the later stages of the match.
“I think we deserved the win tonight, we got off to an awful start in our first game with a really poor 12 minute performance down in Wales, which set us up on the wrong foot but we have had two great victories over Northern Ireland last week and Scotland tonight and I think we are deserved winners of the competition,” he said.
“We had some purpose with persuasion tonight, I always thought we looked dangerous on the attack and we never looked stretched at the back. It was great when the Scots scored at the end too, because it tested our resolve and, to be fair, we came through it."
After many years of working with the U16s group, Swain admits he is particularly positive about this set of players, having been able to look at almost three different squads over the course of this season's Victory Shield.
This group will now go on to contest in UEFA competitions at U17 level next season, as Swain looks ahead to the next year group coming under his charge.
“They will definitely go places this age group," he said. "But the worrying thing for this lot, is that the age group below them are just as good. But these lads will go far and there is some terrific talent in England at the moment.”
As for the reasons why England have become so dominant in the Victory Shield over the last decade, Swain was in no doubt as to how that has happened.
“I think we have better players and we have more to choose from frankly," he said. "It’s probably down to the population but to be fair we do maximise the potential. The clubs have worked ever so hard since Academies have been introduced and I think with the programme we have got gives these boys a wonderful opportunity to maximize their potential.”
After the postponement of the fixture last year due to the weather conditions in December, Swain praised Morecambe’s new stadium and the supporters on the night:
“It’s a wonderful stadium and worthy of an international game like this," he added. "Morecambe is a fabulous area for football and it’s good to see a great crowd turn out to watch the team win tonight.
"Because of the postponement last time it must have been a real disappointment for everyone who worked so hard, especially the crowd staff when we had that bad weather.
"We have ended up playing on a magnificent service tonight in front of a good crowd of two or three thousand people and I hope it was a good show for everybody.”