Swain's new set
Wednesday, 26 September, 2012
Kenny Swain excited to take latest batch of U16s into Victory Shield action.
England U16s begin the defence of their Victory Shield on Thursday evening when they travel to Northern Ireland for the opener of the 2012 edition and Head Coach Kenny Swain is hoping to help shepherd in the next generation of Young Lions.
Swain has overseen England to multiple Shield successes over the last few years and handed England debuts to a number of players who have gone on to progress through the international ranks, including the likes of Danny Welbeck, Jack Butland, Jonjo Shelvey, Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling.
This will be the first experience with England for many of the U16s squad and with the game being screened live on Sky Sports, Swain knows that they will be tested to the full in Dungannon.
"Games against Northern Ireland are always competitive, they’re always set up well to compete against us," said Swain.
"We don’t know what to expect from their squad, but we know they will always be well prepared for the full 80 minutes."
The 18-man squad selected by Swain for the trip across the Irish Sea contains a number of players who he believes can go on to fulfill their potential with the Three Lions and as always, the former Chelsea, Nottingham Forest and Aston Villa player is looking forward to working with them.
“Each year always varies on the type of player we seem to produce, some years we have a lot of gifted midfielders, other years we have some outstanding defenders and strikers," he explained.
"I see this year as no different and hopefully the balance of the squad will be excellent as in recent seasons."