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Josh's World Cup ambition
Tuesday, 22 September, 2009
Midfielder looking forward to playing on the global stage.
FIFA U20 World Cup
24 September - 16 October
England midfielder Josh Walker is preparing for what he says is the biggest tournament of his career so far and admits he just can’t wait to get going.
The Three Lions begin the U20 World Cup on Saturday when they face Uruguay and the Middlesbrough ace is champing at the bit ahead of the game in Ismailia.
“Any opportunity to play for your country is a great honour, but to play in a World Cup is the pinnacle of anyone’s career and me and the rest of the lads can’t wait to get started and we’re all really looking forward to it,” he said, after the team’s arrival at their base in Egypt.
“A couple of years ago, Lionel Messi was playing in this competition and look what he’s gone on to do, so if one of us can get anywhere near him then it’s all been worthwhile.
“I’m just looking forward to the games coming up and playing in the biggest tournament of my life, the World Cup.
“It’s something that not many people get the chance to do, and us as a group of lads have that opportunity now to show what we can do on what is the biggest stage of our careers.”
Having represented England at U16, U17, U18 and U19 level over the last few years, Walker is one of the more experienced members of the squad but he knows that in a player’s fledgling career any competition like this can only be beneficial for the future.
And after breaking through to the ‘Boro first team last season, he now sees this as another step on the ladder.
“I think the experience that you can get from playing in a tournament like this can stand you in good stead for the rest of your career so it’s something that all of the players are looking forward to,” he admitted.
“I’m just looking to have a good tournament here and we’ll see what the future holds.
“It’s everyone’s dream to one day get in the full national side but I know there’s a long road ahead of me to go.
With games against South American, African and Middle Eastern opposition in Uruguay, Ghana and Uzbekistan in the group stages, it will also be a new challenge for the squad with most of them having mainly faced European teams through international games in the past and it is a task Walker says all of the players are looking forward to.
“We’ve just got to take each game as it comes,” he added.
“We’ve got a tough test on Saturday against Uruguay, so hopefully we’ll be coming out of that game with a positive result to take into the next one.
“All three of the sides will be different and I don’t think anyone in the squad has played them before so it’s a fresh challenge for all of us.”
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