Jack offers his advice
By Nicholas Veevers
Thursday, 27 October, 2011
Butland knows how new batch of Young Lions will be feeling tonight.
Tickets are still on sale for the game, priced at £3 for adults and £1 for OAPs and children and will be available on the turnstile.
England U16s are back in Victory Shield action this evening, when they face Wales at Cheltenham Town’s Abbey Business Stadium, looking to make it two wins out of two following on from the victory over Northern Ireland earlier this month.
Head Coach Kenny Swain has selected a different squad for the match, as he aims to look at as many of his players as possible before the final Shield game with Scotland in Inverness next month.
And one interested face in the crowd at Whaddon Road will be England Under-21 goalkeeper Jack Butland, currently on loan to Cheltenham Town from Birmingham City.
He made his England debut under Swain in the Victory Shield back in 2008 and knows exactly how the players will be feeling ahead of their possible first appearances for the Young Lions.
“The players should just relax and try not to do anything too much, just to be themselves,” he said.
“In your first game, some people might want to over-do it and try to show people what they are about, but if you can play a steady game on your debut for the U16s you are on the right path.
“Kenny Swain is very good. I have come across a lot of England managers and they are all different and have their own individual attributes but I enjoyed working under Kenny.
“He realises that it’s everyone's first time playing for England, and he was very good with them and made everyone feel very welcome. He made it easier for us to play and was very good with all of the players.
“I haven't worked with him for a while now but in the U16s we had the Victory Shield and also the Montaigu Tournament when we beat Germany in the Final so I had some very good experiences with the U16s.”
The Bristol-born stopper is also enjoying life with Cheltenham at the moment where he is picking up valuable experience in the Football League to add to his considerable international achievements.
Having already won an U17 European Championship and played in an U20 World Cup with England, Butland now believes he’s on the right path with the Robins too.
“Cheltenham is a great club one of the reasons why I came on loan here was because they have a good fan base,” added the 18-year-old.
“The stadium is a very good standard for a League Two ground and the pitch is also excellent. The staff at Cheltenham are very welcoming and friendly, so for an U16 game it will be a really good place to play.”