Coady's Final thoughts
Sunday, 30 May, 2010
The England captain believes Europe's two best teams are going head-to-head.
UEFA European U17 Championship
Rheinpark Stadion, Vaduz
By Glenn Lavery in Liechtenstein
This afternoon England captain Conor Coady will lead his team-mates into European Championship battle one last time, where he hopes to overcome Spain in the Final and lift his nation’s first ever U17 title.
England have reached this Final once before, in 2007, when today’s opponents beat them 1-0 courtesy of a Bojan Krkić goal. Spain have won this competition (and its U16 equivalent) eight times, while England’s sole success came in 1993, the year this current batch of internationals were born.
“I don’t think it puts pressure on any of the boys,” said Coady, of the 17-year absence of silverware.
“It’s a great achievement if we can win it but we’ve got to get past Spain first. We watched them [in the semi-final] and they do look a quality side. They’ve got some good technical players and we’ll have to be on the top of our game to beat them.”
Far from being swept away by the occasion and the prospect of creating their own piece of football history, Coady said he and is his team-mates have enjoyed their run to the Final and are feeling relaxed ahead of the kick-off.
“It’s great to have got this far,” he said. “We’ve done well to get to the Final and it’s been a great experience for us all. We’ve just got to keep it going for one more game.
“We’re excited about [the Final but] we’re very calm at the minute. Spain are a very good side and I can’t wait to play against them. I think it will be a good footballing game and I think it will live up to expectations. Hopefully both teams will play well on the day.”
Both Finalists topped their respective groups with 100 per cent records and both nations’ qualifying campaigns make for impressive reading with England winning all six of their qualifiers and Spain winning five, losing only to Belgium.
Coady said: “I think it’s the two best teams in Europe going at it and whoever’s best will come out on top.”