Tomkins enjoys Euro experience
Tuesday, 23 June, 2009
James Tomkins talks exclusively to TheFA.com after Germany draw.
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West Ham defender James Tomkins made his first competitive start for the Under-21s against Germany and is now hoping he can have a further impact as England aim for European glory.
Stuart Pearce made ten changes to the starting eleven that faced Spain in England’s second Euro 2009 match in Sweden and Tomkins benefited from the decision with a place in the heart of defence. In a squad where competition for places is fierce, it was a prime opportunity for the 19-year-old to shine.
“I think it was a good experience for myself and the other lads who hadn’t started [previous games]. So it was good to get the game under our belts and now look forward to the next game,” said Tomkins.
“I think I got better as the game went on. It was my first competitive start so it was a good experience. It was brilliant to come out and sing the national anthem and hopefully [the experience] will stand me in good stead for years to come.”
As one of the youngest members of Pearce’s squad, Tomkins will be available for selection for the same tournament in 2011. But after breaking into the West Ham first-team last season, Tomkins is more concerned about making a similar mark for England in 2009.
“The 23-man squad we’ve got here has a lot of quality in it. The lads who started [the first two games] have had a little rest and given the other lads the chance to show what they can do.
“I think it was a good tester for us because you don’t get much bigger than Germany. I think all the lads did themselves justice.
“There are a lot of youngsters here and they’re doing really well for themselves and I think everyone is pushing for their place at the moment because the whole team is performing well.
“We’re just looking forward to the next game, the semi-final. It’s a massive game and it’s going to be a great experience,” said Tomkins.
England’s opponents in the semi-final will be decided this evening as Italy face Belarus and Sweden take on Serbia in the final games of Group A. England will face the Group's runner-up, however, Tomkins is unconcerned about who they will meet on Friday.
“The way we’re playing at the moment we’re full of confidence and obviously having not lost a game yet we’re not fearing anyone. Whoever we get next, we’re all looking forward to it,” he said.
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