Young Lions meet local Serbian children, and supporters, after training.
By Nicholas Veevers in Novi Sad.
The England U17 squad
had a group of special visitors to training on Thursday as around 20 local school children from Novi Sad came along to FK Proleter to watch the Young Lions’ preparation for the game with Denmark.
As part of the ‘Stronger Together’ campaign initiated by the Serbian FA, each of the participating nations in the Finals are being backed by a different school throughout the competition and England's supporters are from OS Svetozar Markovic - Toza.
The campaign aims to raise awareness and join together against racism, chauvinism and intolerance in order to create a positive atmosphere at the games, promote Serbian culture and traditions and to familiarise the local public with the culture and traditions of the various countries competing here.
The schools involved were invited to create banners in support of their adopted nation which are being displayed at the games, with prizes being awarded for the best efforts.
There was even an exchange of gifts, as the England squad handed over a signed pennant, two shirts and pens and pin badges to the youngsters, who in turn presented captain Nathaniel Chalobah
and Head Coach John Peacock
with a commemorative plaque and the rest of the squad with a goodie bag each.
Two lucky boys were even given a pair of boots by midfielder Nick Powell
after the session, as England get ready for Friday’s match at the Karadjordje Stadium in Novi Sad.
Speaking about the visit, Peacock said: “It’s very important for us, as we’re playing Denmark on Friday and if we can get some good, local support then that would be fantastic.
“Denmark have three points at the moment, so they’re in the driving seat but we’ll be looking to try and win the game on Friday to put us back in a good position before we play Serbia on Monday.”