Goalkeeper Jason Steele hopes the squad's previous experience can prove useful this season.
England v Netherlands
International U19 Friendly
7.45pm, Tuesday 9 September 2008
The Prostar Stadium, Shrewsbury Town FC
Live on Setanta
Ticket Hotline: 01743 273943
Tickets £3 in advance (£5 on gate) adults and £1 children and concessions
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England U19 star Jason Steele believes the experience picked up by the Young Lions in the European Championship Finals in July can only stand them in good stead for the new campaign.
Steele was one of six players who travelled to Czech Republic for the Finals who is still young enough to be involved with the U19s this season and with the first round of qualifying taking place next month, Brian Eastick’s side begin their preparations with a friendly against the Netherlands on Tuesday night.
Middlesbrough goalkeeper Steele was also part of the U17 squad which went to the Euros and World Cup two seasons ago, so he is more than familiar with his team-mates and believes that their collective experience can prove worthwhile.
“It can only help that a few of us who went to the Finals can play again this year,” said Steele.
“A lot of the squad went to the European Championship as U17s and then the World Cup after that, so if they can bring that experience into the U19s, what they’ve learnt about how to cope with the different styles of play, the sizes of teams and everything, it’s all good experience.”
Steele was also involved when England met the Dutch in the Euros in Belgium last year and that occasion saw the Young Lions run out 4-2 winners.
However, everyone knows that the Netherlands produce decent young teams and Steele anticipates a completely different match on Tuesday.
“I’ve played against Holland before at U17 level in the European Championship and I think we beat them 4-2 that day,” he revealed.
“But it’s a new season now and a new challenge for us and I’m sure they’ll be different, as will we.
“Whenever we’ve played them or when I’ve seen them play, they always have two out-and-out wingers or a 4-3-3 formation and seem very attacking in their outlook.
“They’ll be good on the ball and come at us with good movement.”
* Withdrawn and replaced by Matthew Briggs of Fulham.
** Withdrawn and replaced by Jack Rodwell of Everton.
*** Withdrawn and replaced by Jay Thomas of Arsenal.
**** Withdrawn and replaced by Nathan Baker of Aston Villa.