Brian Eastick knows his young Lions face a tough test tonight, but the Head Coach is a confident man.
England v Holland
U19 International Friendly
Bescot Stadium, Walsall
Tuesday 5 September 2006
England U19s Head Coach Brian Eastick insists his young charges face a thorough examination when they take on Holland on Tuesday night at Walsall's Bescot Stadium.
However, Eastick, who worked under Sir Bobby Robson at Newcastle, believes England have enough to pass the test with flying colours.
"During September last year, along with my colleague John Peacock, I was fortunate enough to observe The U17 World Youth Championships in Peru," explained Eastick.
"A tournament in which Holland, with some impressive performances reached the Semi-Final stage along with Brazil, Turkey and the eventual winners Mexico.
"Therefore I know from first hand that in this particular U19 group they have some excellent players. So for sure the game here tonight will prove to be a good test for our young players, one in which I am confident they are capable of passing."
Eastick referred to Holland's 'excellent' players, but the Head Coach has a number of talented individuals in his squad, including Liverpool trio Adam Hammill, Craig Lindfield (pictured) and Paul Anderson. All three played a major part in Liverpool's FA Youth Cup triumph while Anderson was an unused substitute during the Anfield club's Champions League defeat to Benfica.
Other names to look out for include Michael Mancienne, who was on the bench for Chelsea's Community Shield clash with Liverpool, and Lee Cattermole who featured in Middlesbrough's tremendous UEFA Cup run last season.
Walsall's Ishmel Demontagnac has also been included in the squad and will hope to impress at his home ground.
"Since the U18 International in Turkey last year I’m delighted to see that many of the players have started to break into their respective clubs first team squads, and in some cases playing quite regularly," added Eastick. "So the opportunities are there for young players if they can perform consistently at a very high level.
"This will also be mirrored at International level and I’m sure that the new England Head Coach Steve McClaren will be watching with interest the International Development teams. So as my mentor Dave Sexton would say: 'There are no problems just opportunities'."
Tickets for the match at the Bescot Stadium are just £3 for adults and £1 for children and OAPs if booked in advance. Adult tickets will be £5 on the day. Tickets can be purchased from the Ticket Hotline on 0870 442 0111.
England Under-19 squad to face Holland:
Log on to TheFA.com tonight for a report and reaction to tonight's game.