Nathan Delfouneso feels international games will aid his football education.
England 0-0 Czech Republic
U19 International Friendly
7pm, Wednesday 25 March 2009
Banks's Stadium, Walsall FC Click here to buy the programme
England U19s striker Nathan Delfouneso believes that regular international football coupled with his first team involvement at Aston Villa can only aid him in his development as a player.
The 18-year-old has been a regular for the Young Lions this season as well as making the breakthrough into Martin O’Neill’s Villa squad and he feels the variety of football offered on international duty is helping him in his education.
“Games like this can only help my development,” he said.
“It’s obviously different to club football, because you’re playing against different cultures and styles of football and it’s all part of that education.
“With a mixture of international games and club matches, I’m just looking to keep on developing now.”
Birmingham-born Delfouneso was in England action in front of a home crowd at Walsall on Wednesday evening too, playing the full game against Czech Republic to pick up his sixth cap at this level but unfortunately not being able to fire the Lions to a win.
“I thought it was a good game,” he said afterwards.
“They are a decent side and we knew that going into the game, so we wanted to show we were a good side too.
“We could’ve scraped a 1-0 victory but it just wasn’t to be.”
Along with the other players on duty at the Banks’s Stadium, Delfouneso is now hoping that he has done enough over the season to earn a place in Brian Eastick’s squad for the Elite Round qualifiers in May.
England host Scotland, Slovakia and Bosnia in those games, knowing that whichever team finishes as top of the group will progress to the European U19 Championship Finals in Ukraine in July.
Having helped England through the First Round last October and featuring in the friendlies to boot, Delfouneso is hopeful that there is enough talent and belief in the squad to go all the way.
“We’ve played a couple of friendlies this season inbetween the qualifiers and we’ve done well apart from a little blip against Spain,” he added.
“It’s important to play against teams like this from a high level and test yourself on a personal level by playing against international players.
“But we’ve come back today and put a better performance in and we can take the confidence out of that and hopefully add some goals to it in the qualifiers now.”The TeamsEngland
1 Jason Steele, 2 Kyle Walker, 3 Joe Mattock (16 Aidan White, 73), 4 Jack Rodwell (c), 5 Gavin Hoyte, 6 Martin Kelly, 7 Jordan Henderson (14 Andrew Tutte, 80), 8 Daniel Drinkwater, 9 Nathan Delfouneso, 10 Jonathan Obika (15 Nile Ranger, 46), 11 Daniel Gosling.Substitutes not used:
12 Jordan Spence, 13 Alex Smithies, 17 James Wallace.Czech Republic
16 Roman Vales, 2 Jan Mudra (15 Jan Navratil, 46) 4 Martin Sus, 5 Josef Husbauer, 7 Lukas Hejda (6 Lukas Novy, 72) 8 Zdenek Folprecht (14 Lukas Motal, 69) 10 Josef Sural ©, 12 Filip Noval, 13 Milan Misun, 17 Milan Nitrianski (11 Dominik Kraut, 85) 18 Jakub Petr (9 Martin Dolezal, 46)Substitutes not used:
1 Vaclav Hladky, 3 Jan Matras.OfficialsReferee:
Anthony TaylorAssistant Referees:
Darren England & Paul TierneyFourth Official: