With a place in the Nordic Tournament final on offer, Coach Kenny Swain wants a performance on Thursday.
England v Norway
The Nordic Tournament
Thursday 31 July 2008
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England U17s play their final Group A game in the Nordic Tournament on Thursday evening, when they know that a victory will see them take their place in Saturday’s final.
The Young Lions have already enjoyed single goal victories against Finland and Iceland in the Tournament, so a similar outcome in this game will see them in with a chance of winning the competition.
However, Coach Kenny Swain insists that it is not about results at this stage and with a four team friendly tournament in England in August coming up before the European U17 Championship qualifiers take place in October, the players know that good performances will give them a better chance of playing a part later in the season.
“I think Thursday’s game will be a big test and indeed the last game, because the boys have shown they want to do well in terms of results but we’re more interested in the performances,” revealed Swain, ahead of Thursday’s game in Strömstad.
“What is at stake for most of the players is making a claim to be in the U17s squad for the coming season in the European Championships and the tournament in August.
“Whether they can get into that squad now, or whether it takes them a few months more, either way, there is the opportunity for them.”
Whilst Swain is with the team in Sweden, John Peacock will be taking charge for the tournament next month which sees England take on Italy, Israel and Portugal before they head to Spain for the first set of European Championship Qualifiers.
“John Peacock (left) was here to view the players and he has to select his squad for the tournament soon based on what he’s seen,” added Swain, from the team's base in Uddevalla.
“After that is the European Championship qualifying campaign in Spain so it’s a big year for this group of players.
“With the experience of the last two games and being a bit more familiar with each other, the game against Norway will be a better judgement of where they stand right now.”
“The lads have all travelled well though and that’s a major part of their development, how they react to travelling and integrating with each other and helping each other and representing their country as well as their clubs.
“They’ve done very well off the field.”