James Tomkins hopes tonight's game with Italy will be a good World Cup warm-up.
England v Italy
7pm, Tuesday 31 March 2009,
Loftus Road, Queens Park Rangers
Tickets £3 in advance (£5 on gate) adults and £1 children and concessions
By phone: 08444 777 007
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England U20s begin their preparations for this year’s FIFA World Cup on Tuesday evening and James Tomkins admits he can’t wait to get back started.
The West Ham United defender was part of the U19 squad which sealed England’s passage to the World Cup, courtesy of their performance at last summer’s European U19 Championship Finals in Czech Republic and tonight’s game with Italy will be his first international involvement since then.
“You always look forward to getting involved and playing for your country,” admitted Tomkins, who celebrated his 20th birthday at the weekend.
“For the U20s, we’ve obviously got the World Cup coming up in September, so it’s a good chance for all of the boys to impress.
“Noel Blake will be in charge for this game and everyone is really looking forward to it, especially me.”
Basildon-born Tomkins has featured for the Young Lions at U16, U17, U18 and U19 level over the years, primarily pitting himself against European opposition, so he admits the opportunity of taking on the likes of Brazil, USA, Nigeria and many other teams from around the globe in Egypt this year is something he'd like to taste.
“It will be a great experience, playing against different countries from all around the world,” he added.
“It’s a World Cup and everyone wants to impress and make sure that they’re in the squad for it.
“There are no guarantees of a position in there so we do need to go out there and impress to work towards it.”