Swain: 'Good news for England'
Thursday, 13 October, 2011
Head Coach believes this year's group has more to come.
By Nicholas Veevers
England U16s Head Coach Kenny Swain saw his side get off to a winning start in the Sky Sports Victory Shield on Wednesday night, but more than the result against Northern Ireland, he was simply impressed by his young side’s performance.
Whilst England have been incredibly successful in this competition over the last decade, Swain is more concerned with development of players for the long term and their performances than the results and, aside from a short spell in the first half, he felt his side played particularly well.
“For seventy minutes it was a really good, solid performance,” he admitted. “It’s always difficult when you get a brand new bunch of players together for them to gel and flow, but they did tonight which was pleasing.
“The players have done excellent this week in training and they put things together that they have worked on into the match, it paid off and the result was never really in doubt.
“I thought we played very well for the first 30 minutes then the game started to go a bit ping-pong and we lost the control and tempo of the game and they equalised just on the stroke of half time.
“To be fair though, we started the second half well and killed the game off with two early goals, which we were fortunate, but overall I think we deserved the win.”
Recent years have seen a steady flow of players given their first international steps at U16 level by Swain before going on to impress through the various youth teams and into the Under-21s and then the seniors.
That’s what Swain takes pleasure in seeing and he feels there has been a good crop of players to choose in the last few years, giving hope for a bright future with a better depth of talent.
For instance, Swain is likely to select a different squad for the second Shield game with Wales later this month, in order to fully assess more of the players at his disposal.
“I think we have some real talent in England at the moment and certainly in the last three or four years we have had some great players emerging in this country and they have started to come through in numbers now,” he explained.
“We got off to a terrible start last year getting beat heavily by Wales, but the results aren’t particular important at this level, it’s mainly the performance that counts and when the performances are good the results will follow and that’s what happened last year and we went onwards and upwards.
“The lads out there tonight produced a good display and they know that there is a real depth to this squad and plenty of more quality players will come through at this level during the next two games.
"It’s bad news for them as the competition is high, but it's great news for England.”