England U19s squad inspired by St. George's Park experience with Senior and Under-21s
England U19s v Denmark U19s
U19 International Match
7.30pm, Tuesday 5 February 2013
The Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster Rovers FC
Call 01302 762576 for tickets
By Nicholas Veevers
took his U19 squad for training at St. George’s Park
on Monday morning – alongside the Senior and Under-21 players.
The Young Lions are preparing for Tuesday night’s game with Denmark in Doncaster and the Head Coach says it was a great boost for the players to rub shoulders with some of their idols.
All three squads emerged for training together and Blake believes it shows his players that the progression between the squads can be smooth for all involved when required.
And with U19 players such as Nathaniel Chalobah
and Raheem Sterling
having made the step-up in recent months, the progression is there for all of Blake’s group.
Blake said: “It was great for the lads to do that and see up close what can be achieved.
“Some of the boys enjoyed it more than others, as we have got boys who are at clubs with the Seniors anyway.
“But it was good for the lads, as we’ve got five U18s in this group as well and I’ve explained to them what this place is all about, where they want to go and what they need to do if they want to be going into that first team dressing room in 18 months time.
“Out of this year group, Raheem Sterling has already played for the Senior side and Nathaniel Chalobah with the Under-21s so we try to emphasise to them that it’s not a million miles away.
“But you’ve got to earn it and you’ve got to deliver first and foremost and show the right application to the game itself.”
With Blake and Under-21 chief Stuart Pearce in constant contact over the development of their players, there is always a pathway open.
And Blake used Men’s Youth Player of the Year Chalobah
as the perfect example for his Young Lions.
He explained: “There is a lot of consultation which takes place all of the time.
“I’ll deal more with Stuart than I will with Roy, but a number of U19 boys like Nathaniel Chalobah have gone up to the Under-21s and we’ll have a discussion about that.
“A lot of the Senior boys have come through the system with us too in recent times, such as Jonjo Shelvey, Jack Wilshere, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
and Kyle Walker
“So it’s nothing unusual for the lads to see and know the Senior lads anyway.”
The U19s themselves are ready for their match with Denmark, with a sizeable crowd expected to be in attendance at the Keepmoat Stadium.
Following on from their first home game of the campaign with Finland in Telford last November
, Blake paid tribute to the backing England’s young teams have received.
He added: “I have to say the support that we’ve had for the development teams from the U16s, U17s, U18s and U19s has been terrific.
“Hopefully they see some good stuff from the development teams and we’re starting to progress the players now so there are a few to keep an eye on.”