James Tomkins admits it has been an 'unreal' week following his Premiership debut and goals for England.
International U19 Friendly
7pm, Tuesday 25 March 2008
stadium:mk, Milton Keynes Dons FC
James Tomkins admitted that the last few days have been ‘unreal’ for him, following two goals for England on Tuesday night and making his Premiership debut last weekend.
The defender featured in West Ham United’s game with Everton at Goodison Park on Saturday before linking up with the U19 squad on Sunday ahead of Tuesday’s game with Russia.
Two goals from Tomkins set the Young Lions on their way to a 3-1 win at stadium:mk and after the game, the 18-year-old couldn’t hide his delight.
“This week is hard to put into words really,” he said.
“I’m still on a buzz from making my debut at weekend and getting a good result away at Everton and then to score two goals for my country now is just unbelievable.
“It’s my first two goals for my country and I’ve been playing for a good couple of years now, so to get them both of them in one game is still hard to put into words.
“There has been a bit of banter flying around from the lads because I got two goals and I hadn’t scored since I’ve been playing with the U15s, but I’m pleased to score if it helps the team.”
The game was England’s final friendly before they travel to Belarus for the next round of qualifiers for the European Championships in the Elite Group.
There they will face the hosts, Poland and Serbia as they bid to reach this summer’s U19 Championships which will be held in the Czech Republic.
It has been a good season for Brian Eastick’s team, who have won six of their seven games over the campaign and Basildon-born Tomkins admits that has been reflected in the mood within the squad.
“There is a good feeling around the team at the moment,” he said.
“There has been a lot of team bonding, a lot of the lads have been out on loan elsewhere and getting good experience and that helps us through games like this especially with the crowds and lovely stadiums like this.
“We have a lot of good players in this age group and I’m delighted to be named amongst this team.
“We’re doing really well and have had a few good results recently, so we are going to the qualifiers in May looking to keep it going.
“We have been playing these sort of teams like Croatia and Russia to get us ready for the qualifiers and how they might play. We know it’s going to be different in Belarus, so I’m just hoping to get selected and then we can hopefully go out there and do the job.”
And having made his club bow and scored for England, Tomkins now wants to finish the season on a high, with both club and country.
U19 and Upton Park team-mate Freddie Sears has also been involved with the Hammers, scoring his first goal recently, and whilst he was withdrawn from Tuesday’s game through injury, Tomkins knows the future looks bright for the east London club.
“There’s a good Academy at West Ham at the moment with some decent managers and coaches,” he added.
“A few of us have now been given a chance in the first team and there are a few more still coming through.
“I want to keep impressing the manager at West Ham and if I can get another few games before the end of the season, then that would be great.
“And if I can keep playing for England and get to the Finals, it could be a good summer.
“This week has been unreal for me though and I just want to keep pushing on now.”