Noel Blake's side will play Finland U19s in Telford in November
By Nicholas Veevers
England U19s v Finland U19s
7.30pm, Tuesday 13 November 2012
The New Bucks Head Stadium, AFC Telford United
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England U19s are on home soil for the first time this season next month when Finland are the visitors to Telford for what will be the Young Lions’ last game of 2012.
Noel Blake’s side finished top of their Euro qualifying group in September to progress to the Elite Qualifying Round next spring and the Head Coach will be looking to use the matches before then to take a further look at his options.
Victories in Tallinn over host nation Estonia and Faroe Islands and a draw with Ukraine were enough to see England progress and they will learn their Elite Round opponents at the UEFA draw in December.
The squad will also be fully based at St. George’s Park for the first time in their preparations for this game and Blake is looking forward to working with his squad at the new national football centre.
“There will be a few days of training and work done with the squad at St. George’s Park ahead of the game so everyone is looking forward to that now,” said Blake, who took last season’s U19s to the semi-finals of the European Championship.
“It’s a terrific facility for all of our national teams and we had the chance of using the facilities at St. George’s Park very shortly before we went to Germany and it was a superb place to work.
“We will be able to have a proper look around with the lads this time, but it was a little taste of it for the lads last time and they were all very impressed.”
Blake now has to select his squad for the game and after some of the impressive performances he witnessed in the last matches coupled with some of the players missing, he knows he has a tough choice to make.
“We had a very good set of results out in Estonia, with a number of new players giving me a nice selection problem for the next game, which we’re all looking forward to,” he admitted.
“There were a lot of lads who are new to the system in that squad and they’ve grasped the opportunity so that was pleasing.”