Michael Woods says there are no nerves in the England camp ahead of Sunday's final with Spain.
Spain v England
UEFA U17 Championship Finals
4.45pm UK time (5.45pm Belgian time)
Sunday 13 May 2007
England midfielder Michael Woods is eagerly counting down the hours to Sunday's European Championship Final with Spain.
The Chelsea teenager admits it's the biggest game he's played in but rather than feeling nervous, he's itching to get stuck into the Spanish.
"I just can’t wait. I’m raring to go," said the 17 year old. "It’s the biggest game of my life, of all our lives. We will be giving it everything."
Woods has played in some big occasions before. Coming on as a substitute in The FA Cup Third Round against Macclesfield this season, the flame haired midfielder became the fourth youngest player in Chelsea's history.
He also came off the bench in the next round against Nottingham Forest, comfortably dealing with his second appearance in front of another packed house at Stamford Bridge. But Woods says playing for your country does not compare.
"You can't take anything away from playing for your country," he insists. "When you are getting changed and you see the Three Lions, it makes the hair rise on the back of your neck."
Spain will be considered favourites when the whistle blows on Sunday. They have won the competition six times - more than any other country, while England are still striving for their first taste of glory at this level.
But Woods is unperturbed by the tag of underdog and points to England's displays this tournament as proof that they are a force to be reckoned with. Indeed, the all-action midfielder says his side have not peaked yet.
"The performances have improved every game," he added. "We know we have not hit top form yet. We can play better but we are still in the final. We have played well in patches – the first half against Belgium, the second half against Holland and the first half against France – if we can piece it all together in the final then any team would struggle against us."
England have not won a major tournament since the class of Scholes and Fowler won the Under-18 European Championships in 1993. Woods and his team-mates are well aware that they are 80 minutes away from making history.
"We are confident," he said. "We don’t want to be runners-up. There is no point getting this far if you are not going to win it.
"We have coped with the pressure well. We have played France and Holland – big games, but still managed to get the ball down and play. We have played the game, not the occasion."England Squad
Jason Steele (Middlesbrough), Alex Smithies (Huddersfield Town), Jonathan Franks (Middlesbrough), Daniel Gosling (Plymouth Argyle), Henri Lansbury (Arsenal), Joseph Mattock (Leicester City), Victor Moses (Crystal Palace), Rhys Murphy (Arsenal), Seth Nana Ofori-Twumasi (Chelsea), Krystian Pearce (Birmingham City), Tristan Plummer (Bristol City), Nathan Porritt (Middlesbrough), Daniel Rose (Leeds United), Gavin Hoyte (Arsenal), Jordan Spence (West Ham United), Tom Taiwo (Chelsea), Daniel Welbeck (Manchester United), Michael Woods (Chelsea)Referee
Dejan Filipović (SRB) Assistant Referees
Magnus Sjöblom (SWE) and Radoslaw Siejka (POL) Fourth official
Bülent Yıldırım (TUR)