Eastick has eyes on Egypt
Monday, 10 August, 2009
Brian Eastick and his players prepare for Montenegro friendly.
Tomorrow night gives England’s young starlets one of their last chances to impress before next month’s FIFA U20 World Cup.
England’s U20s Head Coach, Brian Eastick, will use tomorrow night’s game with Montenegro at West Brom’s Hawthorns stadium to assess the mixture of players in his squad. With the Finals in Egypt only a month away, Eastick is keen to take a look at as many players as possible before the big kick-off.
With several players from last month’s U19 team which reached the European Championship Final in the Ukraine in the squad for tomorrow, Eastick has also called up several uncapped players for the Montenegro game.
“There are some that have been in the system for a while, some that were involved in Ukraine and one or two that we want to have a look at for the first time. Ross Jenkins, for example, is a player that I watched last season at Watford. We think he’s a good player and now is his opportunity to sample international football,” said Eastick.
“Marc Albrighton is a player that has been in the system for a while that we think has got a lot of ability, and I’m not surprised to see him involved with Aston Villa’s first-team squad pre-season.
“And there are a few new faces in there as well. Adam Clayton from Manchester City played against Italy, while Tom Cleverley has not really been in the England system but has been out on loan to Leicester City and done very well.”
Eastick also reminded his players that it’s not only the Finals in Egypt that they should be aiming for.
“As well as a berth at the World Cup, the other thing all these players will be playing for is a place in the Under-21 squad. Stuart Pearce will have an open mind as to who is going to be kicking on into his team, so it’s a chance for them to get another performance under their belts and impress the Under-21 Manager.”
Tom Cleverley knows everyone in the squad will be determined to impress the Head Coach tomorrow night to secure their place on the plane to Egypt. The Manchester United youngster, who scored in the Red Devils' friendly win against Valencia at Old Trafford last week, knows just how important it is to be part of such a prestigious tournament.
Cleverley said: “Everyone will be trying to make that squad for next month and just stamp their authority on the game and do as well as they can to impress the manager. Hopefully I can do that because next month will be a great experience for anyone involved. You just have to look at the quality of players who have played in that tournament and the different sorts of teams to realise that playing in the tournament is only going to help us develop.”
Goalkeeper Jason Steele was involved in Brian Eastick’s U19 squad last month, and he is hoping to be selected by Eastick again for the tournament in Egypt. The Middlesbrough shotstopper spoke of his admiration for Eastick.
Steele said: “Brian’s doing very well. The last two years he’s had two U19s teams qualify for the European Finals and qualified for the World Cup. Obviously our team [in Ukraine] got to the Final and he’s got to take a lot of credit for that. He’s top manager. His knowledge of the game is brilliant and his training methods are brilliant, too, so hopefully I’ll be in his squads a few more times.”
Tickets for England v Montenegro are £3 in advance for adults (£5 on the night) and £1 concessions from 0871 271 9780.