By Nicholas Veevers and James Marshall
Tuesday, 21 June, 2011
Wednesday's match with Canada sees John Peacock up against brother-in-law.
When England face Canada in the U17 World Cup on Wednesday, it promises to be an intriguing game not just on the pitch.
The Young Lions take on the Canucks in Pachuca in their second group game of the competition and the fixture also pits England Head Coach John Peacock against his brother-in-law.
Rob Gale is the assistant coach of the Canadian team and also the brother of Peacock’s wife Karen, so it looks like being something of a family affair at the Hidalgo Stadium with most of the family flying over to attend that game.
“It’s an exciting one for myself as my brother-in-law is the U17s' assistant coach for Canada,” revealed Peacock.
“He is a resident in Canada now and moved out there around seven years ago.”
“When the draw was made it was extremely ironic for my family.”
Even more ironic is that before the World Cup draw was even made, Gale was in Serbia to watch a few of the games at the European U17 Championship Finals in order to scout a few potential opponents and he also met up with Peacock and his staff at England’s base in Novi Sad before watching the squad in training.
That was a few weeks ago now though and Peacock is looking forward to taking on Gale and the rest of his side.
“It will be interesting,” he added. “It will be different to anything I’ve experienced in football before when we both touch base with each other on the side of a football pitch on the 22 June; I am really looking forward to that one.”
Despite Canada losing their first game of the competition by 3-0 against Uruguay on Sunday, Gale is also anticipating the match, which kicks-off at 6pm local time on Wednesday or midnight BST and is also live on Eurosport.
"It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” added Gale, who is also the Manitoba Soccer Association’s technical director.
“This is the first time this has ever happened. This is the first time that Canada has qualified for the World Cup in 16 years, so just getting to the World Cup is something that every coach wants to do but this game will be the cherry on top of the icing on top of the cake.
“I’m looking forward to catching up and I’m sure the family will be hoping for the underdog.
“Under the circumstances, England has some pretty powerful players who play in a professional environment.
“But you never know what can happen. It’s still eleven against eleven.”