Friday, 28 October, 2011
Head Coach Kenny Swain pleased with the talent at his disposal.
By James Marshall
England U16s Head Coach Kenny Swain was delighted with his side 4-0 victory over Wales on Thursday night.
Goals from Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Jerome Sinclair, Alex Kiwomya and Reise Allassani gave Swain’s side two wins out of two in the Sky Sports Victory Shield at Cheltenham.
"I was very impressed with the performance tonight; it’s difficult with putting a new bunch of lads together who haven’t played a lot of football with each other before," he said.
"To pull out two performances like we have done against Northern Ireland and now Wales over the past couple of weeks is very pleasing. We are making massive strides at this level and I really do think we have the basis of another great squad this year.
"There were some good goals and some solid performances tonight. In these games, you seldom get total control throughout the 80 minutes. I thought we had total control for 30 minutes in the first half then we were in and out of it a bit in the second half, but the lads stuck with it tonight when it was easier to concede a goal, but they kept going and got their just rewards in the end and that was the most pleasing factor."
With Swain having overseen the development of players at U16 level since 2004, he has seen a lot of squads come and go, including the group who went on to win the European U17 Championship in 2010 and last season's U17s who reached the Euro semi-final and World Cup quarter final and he feels this year group could be just as successful.
"There are quite a few people saying this is the best age group we have ever had, they are certainly up there with some of the best we have had," he admitted. "But over the last three or four years there has been some really good talent coming through the system.
"I have felt confident now for a long time that we have had some real talent coming through and we certainly have some talent this year."
Swain also paid tribute to the support his team received at Whaddon Road with well over 3000 fans in attendance to see the Young Lions which all adds up to a great experience for the players.
"It was a fantastic crowd at Cheltenham tonight," he said. "We actually took the boys to watch the Crewe game on Tuesday night and less than 3,000 turned up for that game. So to have nearly 3,500 here tonight on such a wonderful pitch was a real thrill for all the boys involved."