The Young Lions go into Saturday's game with Denmark looking for continued improvement.
Denmark v England
The Nordic Tournament
12pm, Saturday 2 August 2008
Click here for tournament details
Despite missing out on a place in the final of the Nordic Tournament, the performances of the England U17 squad have pleased Coach Kenny Swain ahead of their play-off game with Denmark.
The Young Lions contest the third-fourth game in Kungshamn at Saturday lunchtime and Swain feels that the displays from the team this week have been encouraging for the future.
After being held to a goalless draw by Norway on Thursday evening, their hopes of playing hosts Sweden in the final were dashed but given that Swain rated the performance as the team’s best of the competition he is hoping for further improvement against the Danes.
“I believe that the way we have played in the competition has been worth much more than the two goals we have scored,” he revealed.
“If we put in performances and get results like this in most competitions, it would be enough to finish top of the group so we’re unfortunate not to be in the final I think, but that’s not important to us at this stage.
“Whether it’s the Tournament Final or the third –fourth play-off means nothing to me, as the important thing about this trip is the players’ development for their future careers
“I’m pleased to be playing Denmark, because we need to experience this type of opposition.”
After returning from Sweden, the U17s are in action on home soil in late August when John Peacock (left) takes charge as they face Italy, Israel and Portugal in a four game friendly tournament before they head to Spain in October for the first set of qualifying games for the European Championships.
With success in last season’s Victory Shield and Montaigu Tournament behind them, Swain is hoping that the players’ development and progress can continue into the tournament and then the qualifiers.
“We have progressed as the tournament has gone along and the players have improved over the three games as a team and on an individual basis,” he explained.
“Since we first met up in England just over a week ago, there has been an improvement in everyone since then and the tournament experience is something that will stay with them.”