Brian Eastick is 'philosophical' about his team's group games in the European Championships.
UEFA European U19 Championships
Prague & Liberec, Czech Republic
14-26 July 2008
Click here for fixtures and results
England U19s Head Coach Brian Eastick reveals he feels ‘philosophical’ about the European U19 Championship draw.
The competition will be held in the Czech Republic this summer and the Young Lions have been paired with the hosts, Italy and Greece in Group B for the first round after sealing their qualification in Belarus last week.
Spain, Germany, Bulgaria and Hungary make up Group A, but Eastick knows that when you reach this stage of the competition, you’re always going to be facing good teams.
“I’m very philosophical about the draw, because they’re all good sides and have had to come through six games like we have to qualify,” said Eastick.
“As hosts, the Czech Republic didn’t have to qualify but we play them in our first game, in front of a big crowd on their home patch and live on Eurosport so we know that is going to be very tough.
“I was glad that we avoided Spain though, because they are a very good side.”
Whilst many of the players in Eastick’s squad have begun to get a taste of first team football with their clubs, such as West Ham United pair Freddie Sears and James Tomkins and Chelsea’s Scott Sinclair and Jack Cork albeit on loan, the experience that they will gain from taking part in the Championship finals will only be an aid for their future careers.
The U19s are one of two teams in competitive action this summer, with the England LD team also taking part in their European Championships in the Manchester area in July and August and Eastick knows that will put his team further in the limelight.
“It will be a terrific challenge for the lads and a great experience,” added Eastick.
“I’m sure Fabio and all of the previous national coaches will agree that our players need more ‘tournament experience’.
“It was terrific for the Under-21s last year to play in a tournament away from home in Holland and it can only make the players better regardless of how the results go.”
We will have more from Brian throughout the week on TheFA.com, as he looks ahead to the finals in July.