Brian Eastick speaks about his squad selection.
England v France
7.30pm, Wednesday 9 February 2011
Greenhaus Meadow, Shrewsbury Town FC
01743 273 943By Nicholas Veevers
Head Coach Brian Eastick
made his first squad selection
of the season on Thursday, as he prepares for his side’s game with France next week.
The U20s are in the FIFA World Cup in Colombia this summer, so the game represents the first real preparation for Eastick and his squad against a team which lifted the European U19 Championship last summer.
A number of the England U19
team which drew 1-1
with Les Bluets in that competition are amongst Eastick’s selection for this game, including Blackpool winger Matt Phillips
who scored the equaliser in the aforementioned game in Saint-Lo.
But there are also a few new faces amongst the 18 strong group, such as Blackburn Rovers goalkeeper Jake Kean, Coventry City defender Nathan Cameron, Manchester City centre-half Reece Wabara and Watford striker Marvin Sordell.
All will now have the chance to stake their claim for a place in Eastick’s World Cup squad later this year from what is likely to be a large pool of players.
"We've chosen all of this squad from those with '91 birthdays because we have the Under-21 team playing over in Italy and also Noel Blake's
U19 team have got a game against Germany, so we decided to stick with the '91 birthdays for this game,” he explained.
"If we don't get too many pull-outs, it should be a good contest. France are the European U19 Champions, so it's going to be a good test that's for sure.
"I'd rather have it that way though, because it answers more questions for us.
"Some of these players will have played against France last summer, but it's a good yardstick for us, because you don't become European Champions unless you're a good side.
"I'm sure they will have one eye on their selection for Colombia too.”
Eastick is also looking forward to seeing how some of the new names in the squad settle in and adapt to international football.
"There are a few players in the squad who have been regulars or in and out of the system before, but there are also opportunities there for a few others to come in and show what they can do," he added.
"A lot of them are now playing regular football, whether it's with their parent clubs or out on loan and the more football they can play, the better it is for us too.
"I've seen Jordon Mutch
play on a number of occasions on loan at Waford this season and he deserves his place in the squad and it's a good opportunity for Jordon.
"Matt Phillips has done well when he's come on at Blackpool this season and Nile Ranger
has had a taste of it at Newcastle, and will probably get a bit more now that Andy Carroll
has moved on!
“They all deserve their places in there, so it should be a good game and test for us.”