England Under-21s striker ready to take on Romania at Adams Park on Thursday
England v Romania
An England Under-21s International
Adams Park, Wycombe Wanderers FC
7.00pm, Thursday 21 March 2013
Buy Tickets Online or call 01494 441118
is hoping for a warm welcome tonight as he makes his return to Buckinghamshire and remembers a freezing cold night back in 2009.
Then, as a 15-year-old, Wickham was lining up for Ipswich Town's reserves against Wycombe Wanderers and managed to fire in his first goal for the Tractor Boys’ second string as they lost 2-1.
Now the Sunderland striker wants the local crowd can get behind him and his teammates as they build-up for an important summer.
“I've played at Wycombe once for Ipswich Reserves and it was the coldest game of my life against the biggest defenders,” he recalled. “We lost that game so hopefully I can come away a winner this time.
“I’m sure the fans here will be impressed with the football and the calibre of player we have in this England team.
"We have quality in every area, we're an exciting team to watch with players who are breaking through.
"A few have played for the England senior team, players who fans will recognise. Fans can see what's coming through for the national team.”
Having first pulled on the Three Lions at U16 level, Wickham was a key member of John Peacock’s U17s squad that won the UEFA European Championship in 2010, netting three times including the winner in the Final over Spain. He was also crowned Player of the Tournament.
In June he wants to help Stuart Pearce's side follow suit as they embark on another tilt at the Under-21s European Championship in Israel
Along with goals against Norway and Northern Ireland last autumn, Wickham scored the goal that clinched qualification for the Finals in their play-off second leg away in Serbia.
Having struck again last month against Sweden
, which took his England tally to four in his last five games, he's been a major attacking threat in the side that has won seven games on the spin, without conceding a goal, and he believes the squad have the quality to go all the way this summer.
“It will give me a boost to know that I'm playing well, I'm match fit, I'm strong and can score goals at international level,” said Wickham as he looked ahead to what promises to be an exciting tournament.
“We've got players in the team who are capable of unbelievable things and they are going to be important when we go to Israel.
“We have a solid back-four, we have good goalkeepers and good options going forward, so all over the park we're strong in every position.”
He added: “There's competition for places. We'll be difficult to play against and we'll be difficult to beat.”
You can read the full interview with Connor in the match programme at Adams Park. Tickets for the game are available online, by calling 01494 441118 or from the Adams Park ticket office before kick-off