The U17s kick off the Algarve Tournament on Saturday but John Peacock is looking further ahead.
England U17 v Denmark U17
The Algarve Tournament
Saturday 2 February 2008
Estadio Algarve, Portugal England U17s kick-off their Algarve Tournament on Saturday but John Peacock has just one thing in mind - next month's European Qualifiers.
The Young Lions line-up against Denmark before taking on France and Portugal in the space of just four days.
But despite that busy schedule, it's the trip to Tel Aviv at the end of March which the Head Coach is working towards.
"It's a good tournament," said Peacock, who is also The FA's Head of Coaching. "We face three very good opponents - that's a test the players need. But the focus is on the European Qualifiers, very much so.
"This is the final preparation for the Elite Round Qualifying in Israel next month."
Peacock's plans for the Algarve have been interrupted by a number of withdrawals, some of which have featured in The FA Youth Cup including Nathan Delfouneso who scored a hat-trick for Aston Villa against Ipswich this week.
However, despite the change in personnel, Peacock will use this tournament to blood a number of new players with the Elite Round in mind.
"The important thing is to get to see the players again, including four new caps. They have been recommended for what they have been doing at their clubs. But it's also a good chance for me to see how they are off their field too.
"There are a few from last year's U16s that I have not seen. It's important we see how they do in games as international football is different from what they experience at their clubs.
"By the end of this week I will have looked at 25 or 26 players in six months. From those I will select the 18 for Israel."
Peacock comes alive on the training group - anyone who has seen him at close quarters can vouch for that.
Last season he took the U17s to the Final of the European Championships and the Quarter Final of the World Cup in Korea.
He returned from Asia in September and the following month guided the current U17s to top spot in their First Qualifying Round group.
After more than three months off the park, Peacock was itching to get his boots back on again.
"It seems like an eternity ago," he said. "So it's nice to be back with the players, working with them and trying to improve an international development team.
"Denmark will not be easy though. Our information on them is scarce but we have an idea what they will bring to the game. It will be competitive."