Swain lauds Lions' character
England U16 Head Coach Kenny Swain happy his players dug in to win Victory Shield
Kenny Swain was full of praise for the way his players battled to a Victory Shield-winning performance against Scotland on Thursday evening.
The England U16 Head Coach guided his young team to a 1-0 win at Burton Albion, the only goal coming from MK Dons forward Giorgio Rasulo in added time.
This result, allied to wins over Northern Ireland (5-0) and Wales (1-0) secured a twelfth straight Shield success.
Swain said: “I'm always proud of my players ever since I first started with this age group and I'm proud of them all again.
“I felt sorry for the Scots as they didn't deserve to lose the game really, but that's football.
“I'm delighted with what character the boys showed, we were patient in our play.
“Scotland had some fantastic chances to win the game, but so did we. In the end, the players kept going and got their just rewards by nicking it in the last minute.
“For me it’s always about performances at this age and the lads showed that.
“We had belief, courage and we were tenacious until the final whistle, kept to our game plan and showed that they had a great character as a team.”
The former Aston Villa full-back is a keen advocate of the Victory Shield and the opportunities it provides to develop players at international level.
Swain has overseen the last nine successful Shield campaigns and his former protégés include Jack Wilshere, Jonjo Shelvey, Raheem Sterling, Jack Butland and Jack Rodwell.
He added: “Year on year in this competition the technical ability is improving all the time.
“Every year we have some real talent coming through the system.
“We have a lot more players to choose from and the talent pool is getting greater every year.
“I like to give as many players a taste of international football at this level as I can and they've impressed me this year over the three games.
“It gives me great pleasure in seeing players from this age group going on and representing their country at U17, U19, Under-21 and eventually being capped at senior level.”