Former England and Arsenal captain Tony Adams has enjoyed his week with England U19s
England U19s v Turkey U19s
International U19 Match
7.30pm, Thursday 21 March 2013
The New Bucks Head Stadium, AFC Telford United
Ticket Prices: £3 Adults £1 Concessions
Call 01952 640 064
By Nicholas Veevers
Tony Adams has had his boots back on this week, after taking up the offer to work with the England U19 squad.
The Young Lions face Turkey in Telford on Thursday night and former England captain Adams has been with the group since their meet-up on Sunday.
An Arsenal legend following his career with the north London giants, Adams admits it’s been great to get involved on the training pitch again as a break from his regular job as Football Advisor for Azerbaijani club Gabala.
Since resigning from his position as coach of Gabala, he has taken on a massive project from the club's President, overseeing and developing the club from top to bottom.
This includes the planning of a new stadium, state-of-the-art training facilities and a productive academy.
So Adams was only too happy to take a short break from the office at England's Shropshire base this week.
He told TheFA.com: “It’s good to get back into coaching and working with some great talents here.
“I’ve been in an office for a while now working on administrative things for Gabala, where I work with the President on all football matters.
“So I haven’t coached with kids or young men that much recently, certainly not since my Feyenoord days, when I was working with their reserves and academy back in 2004.
“That was something I really enjoyed, I had a free-hand in the development of their U14 players downwards to do what I wanted to do.
“And there are two players involved in their first team now, who were U14s when I used to take them.
“But these England U19 boys are just a joy to work with, they want to go out and work and they want to prove themselves.
“There are some of the top players in the country here and some good boys too.
“So at times, you have to try and slow them down a bit and get them to relax and try to enjoy it.
“But they want to impress and it can be very intense.”
Adams was invited along to link-up with the U19s squad for this game by The FA’s Director Of Football Development, Sir Trevor Brooking.
And he admits he’s really enjoyed working alongside Head Coach Noel Blake and his staff, as they prepare for what is the final warm-up match ahead of May’s Elite Qualifying Round.
He added: “I knew Andy Cale (Assistant Coach) from studying for the Pro License badge and he spoke at a few of the meetings there, so I was quite excited when I saw him name on the list.
“I didn’t know Noel, although I had played against him before all those years ago
“But everyone’s been great, it’s been really open and I’ve been able to work as I’d like to do.
“I’ve tried to not get in the way too much, as I know that Noel has to organise these boys and get them ready for the game on Thursday and develop them as well.
“For Noel and the England set-up, you don’t get to work with the players that often so there’s so much that you want to do with them while they’re here.
“I think we’ve found a good balance and I’ve just been trying to help so hopefully I’ve been of use to the players and the staff.”