Tom Thorpe will captain England U19s in Euro Finals.
By Nicholas Veevers in Tallinn
England U19s play their first game of this year's European Championship Finals against Croatia on Tuesday afternoon and Head Coach Noel Blake has named Tom Thorpe as his captain for the tournament.
The Manchester United star was in impressive form as Blake's squad progressed through the Elite Qualifying Round in May, doubling up both in central defence and midfield when needed, as well as scoring a goal against Slovenia in the first game at Deepdale.
Thorpe is also one of the squad's more experienced players, having picked up caps at U16, U17 and U18 level prior to making his debut for the U19s in February 2011, as well as being part of the U17 squad which became European Champions in Liechtenstein two years ago.
"I was very honoured and pleased that he (Blake) asked me," Thorpe told TheFA.com. "Hopefully I can lead the team and show an example.
"It was a bit of a surprise to be honest, I wasn't expecting it at all, but I'm honoured and we're just ready to get started now."
Wearing the armband is nothing new to Thorpe, as the 19-year-old led Manchester United to FA Youth Cup glory in the 2010-11 campaign and also believes that within this England squad is a number of players who can fill the role of captain even without the title.
With the likes of Sam Johnstone, Nathaniel Chalobah, Conor Coady, John Lundstram and George Thorne all having captained England at various levels over the last few seasons, Thorpe knows this is a strong group of characters and leaders.
"I don't think it (the captaincy) changes how you play and there's a few players who have experience of it in this squad, both with England and with their clubs as well," he added.
"It won't change much on the pitch for me, we will have three or four captains out there. I've done it before at club level, I was captain when we won The FA Youth Cup and that was a great experience."
The start of the Finals begins on Tuesday when Croatia provide the opposition in Tallinn and after a week of preparation, both in England and Estonia, Thorpe feels that the players are sharp enough and raring to go.
"It's a good group of players, we've had a good week of training and we're all concentrating hard and we're ready to go now," he said.
"We go into the game tomorrow with good belief that we can win.
"Croatia will be a good test for us, they always have a good set of players, but hopefully we can get the result to give us a good start.
"We're all settled in and ready to go for the tournament."