Delfouneso's double aim
Nicholas Veevers in Donetsk
Saturday, 01 August, 2009
U19s striker Nathan Delfouneso wants to return home from Donetsk with two titles.
England hitman Nathan Delfouneso is hoping to leave Ukraine with two titles under his belt, a European Championship medal and the competition’s Golden Boot.
The 18-year-old fired the Young Lions into Sunday’s finale with the hosts with a brace against France on Thursday and now he is looking to add to his tally and help England lift the trophy in the process.
With four goals to his name so far, the Aston Villa striker is currently the competition’s top scorer and if he can add more goals and help England to the title, he will return home on Monday a happy man.
“Being a striker, that’s what I’m here for and I thrive on getting goals so I’m very happy to have got four goals so far,” he said.
“Hopefully, if I’m selected on Sunday, I can go and get some more but the main thing is to get the goals for the team though, it’s not about individual stuff.
“It was one of my aims when I came out here, I do want the golden boot and I’m still looking for it in the final.
“It would be a very proud moment for me to get the top goalscorer in the competition given all of the good players and teams that have been here.”
Delfouneso is also hoping that England can continue to improve in the final, as they have done in each of their four outings in the competition already.
One of those games came against Ukraine in the group stages and that ended in a 2-2 draw last Friday so Delfouneso is expecting another open encounter fitting of the final.
“I feel that in every game we have got better, so we’re just looking to take that into the final now,” he added.
“Ukraine are a very good team and very together. They have some good individual players as well, so it should be a very good game.
“It was a hard match last time, they came at us pretty quickly but we settled and took the lead and then they came at us again.
“It might be a bit different this time though, because the teams will know more about each other than they did beforehand and we’re expecting a big crowd to be behind them as well.
“It might help them, but it might be an advantage for us as it could put pressure on them.
“If we can keep them quiet for 15 minutes, it can help silence the crowd but for me personally, I enjoy it and I love the crowd to be loud and get behind their team.”
Having played a part in both of England’s European Championship qualifying rounds and been a regular goalscorer in those stages too, Delfouneso has enjoyed playing a part and being a year younger than most of his squad mates, he knows he could be involved again in the coming season.
“It’s been like a whole education, getting used to different conditions and cultures both on and off the field,” he revealed.
“It would mean a lot to win the competition for everyone involved with England though. It would be a great achievement for us to go one better than the Under-21s who were unlucky in their final and that’s what we aim to do.”
The England team will wear black armbands during the game in respect of former England manager Sir Bobby Robson, who sadly passed away on Friday.