Under-21 'keeper Joe Hart could be a hot favourite for Euro 2009.
Norway v England
5.30pm (GMT), Friday 27 March 2009
Komplett.no Arena, Sandefjord
England v France
8pm, Tuesday 31 March 2009
The City Ground, Nottingham Forest FC
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England's Under-21s touched down in Norway on Thursday and were greeted by thick snow ahead of their match against Norway in Sandefjord.
After a short stop at the Komplett.no Arena to have a look at where the game will be played, goalkeeper Joe Hart said he was well aware of what to expect before arriving here after speaking to one of his Manchester City team-mates who is a local in these parts.
But despite the cold weather, and the six inches of fresh snow that the team woke up to on Friday morning, Hart is not fazed and is concerned only on performing well for England.
After gaining experience in the last two England Senior squads, for trips to Germany and Spain, the 21-year-old is back with Stuart Pearce's side and is focused on this summer's UEFA European Under-21 Championship back in Scandinavia.
"It's very picturesque and there's been a lot of snow, a bit more than I expected, but one of the young lads I work with at City, Tobias Johanssen, this is his local town and he told me there'd be a lot of snow, but I didn't think it would be quite this much," said Hart.
"It'll be interesting and different, but that's the whole point of international football. It's good to do different things. I've been to Denmark quite a lot with my club this year and there has been snow and all sorts, so it'll be nothing new.
"It's a multi-purpose stadium, too. There's a supermarket and pharmacy, and when we did actually get onto the pitch you couldn't see anything as it needs to be covered up with the weather like this."
Hart's last outing for the Under-21s was in the second-leg of the Euro 2009 play-off against Wales. England drew that night, but completed the job of qualifying for Sweden 5-4 on aggregate.
Since then he has spent the last two internationals in Fabio Capello's squad, and although he didn't feature in either match, he feels the opportunity has helped his development. Now with the European Championship on the horizon, he's relishing his return to the Under-21s.
"It's good to be in this squad, I love seeing the boys. I still class myself as an Under-21s player and I'm just looking forward to playing and getting ready for the summer," continued the Manchester City stopper.
"It's given me a massive confidence boost to be involved with the Senior team. I haven't had a chance to play this season, but to watch how the team goes about what they do, representing their country and the pressure that comes with it, has really given me an insight.
"Jamo (David James) has been really class. I was with him for a couple of weeks at Man City before he went to Portsmouth, he takes a lot of time out and an interest in us and wants us to all do well."
Hart added: "There’s a lot of care for the Under-21s in the Seniors. There’s various relationships, with some of the lads playing in the same teams. When I was with the first team there was an Under-21 game on the telly and most of the squad were there watching."
After experiencing the European Finals two years ago, Hart is looking forward to going away with England again.
After being understudy to Scott Carson last time around, he’s hoping to be the man between the sticks in June and believes that England are strong enough to go all the way.
"I went to the tournament last time but I didn't play any of the games, it was more of a learning experience watching how Scotty went about it," explained Hart.
"I think the team we have now would hold their own in the Premier League, most of the lads have first team experience in various parts of the English game and even Derbs (Matthew Derbyshire) brings experience from the Greek League.
"There’s all types in there, we’re really strong in depth in every position and there’s a huge battle for the places."
He added: "Hopefully I’ll have a chance to play and bring home the trophy in the summer."