Brian Eastick believes there's plenty to be positive about at all levels of international English football.
International U19 Friendly
7.45pm, Tuesday 9 September 2008
The Prostar Stadium, Shrewsbury Town FC
Live on Setanta
England U19 Head Coach Brian Eastick believes the future could be bright for English football, but people wouldn’t admit to it unless the team were wearing orange!
The Young Lions picked up a deserved victory against the Netherlands on Tuesday evening, controlling possession and creating the better chances in the game at Shrewsbury Town’s Prostar Stadium.
Following the Under-21 team’s fine win against Portugal at Wembley last Friday and then the Senior team’s success in Croatia this week, Eastick believes that people should be looking at the positive aspects of the game in England.
A brace from Arsenal’s Rhys Murphy was enough on Tuesday to see off the challenge of the Dutch, perennial challengers for honours at youth level, and Eastick felt his team were more than a match for them.
“If you’d have put orange shirts on us and white shirts on them, people would be saying how good we were technically,” said Eastick.
“I think last season’s U19s were technically good too and we saw that against Italy and Greece in the summer when we played some terrific football at times.
“We have some very good players and that’s credit to the clubs as there is a lot of good work going on at the Academies up and down the country.”
The next challenge is for the players involved with the U19s to aid their development with first team football, something that is not always easy for those signed with top clubs.
Whilst there is always the option of going out on loan to gain experience, the new rule allowing seven substitutes in Premier League matches means managers are perhaps more reluctant to allow their players to leave.
“The problem now is mapping a path through for them to get into first team football and how they can play on a regular basis,” admitted Eastick.
“The seven substitutes rule perhaps makes it harder for them, but I’m sure many of them will get the chance to go out from their clubs and perhaps add to their education and development on loan.”
Eastick is also hopeful that he can lead the U19s to the European Championship next summer, for the second successive season.
The Young Lions begin their qualifying campaign early next month when they travel to Belfast to face Northern Ireland, Albania and Serbia and Eastick is happy with the players at his disposal.
“We’re really pleased with the group we’ve got and hopefully we can go on and do really well this year,” he added.
“Obviously it helps that they have grown together over the last few years, but players develop a lot between these years of 17 and 19, so they haven’t automatically got a right to play as U19s.
“The nucleus of that group from the U17s from two seasons ago will all be in and around the squad but there will be one or two players who emerge and there will be some good competition for places.”
England: Jason Steele, Kieran Trippier, Lee Hills (Matthew Briggs, 78) Jack Rodwell (Michael Woods, 46) Krystian Pearce, Gavin Hoyte, Jonathan Franks (Jay Thomas, 60) Henri Lansbury (c), Daniel Welbeck, Rhys Murphy, Victor Moses (Medy Elito, 73).
Subs not used: Ben Amos.
Netherlands: Leonard Nienhuis, Ridny Cairo, Mart Dijkstra (Kaj Ramsteijn, 46) Jeffrey Nuland (Rico Wolven, 46) Partick van Aanholt (Kay Velda, 51) Marco Vejinovic (c), Nacer Barazite, Ben Rienstra (Richard Stolte, 46) Genero Zeefuik (Lars Hutten, 77) Georginio Wijnaldum, Luciano Narsingh (Soufiane Dadda, 72)
Subs not used: Jeroen Zoet.
Referee: Craig Pawson
Assistant Referees: Andy Newbold & Nick Hobbis
Fourth Official: Dean Mohareb