Cork eager for St Mary's return
Saturday, 04 June, 2011
Jack expecting good Southampton send off ahead of Euro Finals.
Buy tickets online, call 0800 2800 050 or visit the club ticket office for just£5 children, £10 adults
Become a fan of England U21s on Facebook
returns to Southampton on Sunday and is expecting a great send off from the Saints fans as England Under-21s prepare for their European adventure.
The Chelsea midfielder is part of Stuart Pearce’s 23-man squad who on Wednesday will travel to Denmark for the 2011 UEFA European Championship. There they take on Spain, Ukraine and Czech Republic in their group games looking to reach the Semi-Final stage for the third time in succession.
In 2007 England lost in the last four 13-12 on penalties to hosts Holland, then two years ago were beaten 4-0 by an Mesut Ozil-inspired Germany in the Final.
Now Cork, who has operated in a number of positions during his 12 Under-21s appearances, says he and his Three Lions team mates are determined to go one better and become European Champions in Aarhus on 25 June.
“I’m really looking forward to getting to Denmark as I think we have a good chance of winning a trophy this year,” Cork told TheFA.com. “I want to be a part of that. I want to represent England and be around some of the best players in the country and I think we can all be a part of a team that is successful. It’s a great experience and will be really exciting for all of us.”
“I think things have gone well because everyone looks forward to coming away with the Under-21s. The set-up is really good, the training is top class and every time I meet up with England I know I’ll enjoy myself as we all get on very well.
“The quality of the players we have will always mean we’ll be competing in the big games, so with that and the team spirit we’ve got between a group of lads who bond really well together means we’re always in with a chance.”
When Norway arrive at St Mary’s on Sunday afternoon for England’s final preparation match before the Finals it’ll be a return to the club where Cork spent half a season on loan. The 21-year-old, who has spent the last 18 months at Burnley, played 23 league games for the Saints during the first half of the 2008-09 season.
“I enjoyed playing at Southampton and we had a manager who wanted to play football, but it didn’t quite work out and unfortunately at the end of that season they went down,” remembered Cork. “But it’s a great club and they’ve had a good season this year with Nigel Adkins, Crozza (Andy Crosby), people who I was with at Scunthorpe.
“So I’ve only got nice things to say about Southampton and I’m really pleased for them getting promotion back to the Championship. It’s a massive stadium and I think the last game we played there we had about 30,000. They love their football in Southampton. It’ll be a good chance for us to go to a ground with a lot of support behind us to give us a send of before we go away to Denmark.
And Cork will also be happy to pull on the England shirt once again after a health scare during his last game for his country. During the first half against Iceland at Preston in March, Cork complained of an irregular heart beat and was taken to hospital at half time.
“It was a bit scary to be honest,” he revealed. “At half time I said to Boydy (Craig Boyd, Fitness Coach), that my heart is beating really fast and I feel really tired. I was aching during the whole of the first half.
“So I came off and went to hospital for some tests. It was worrying at the time. Things got better though and I played the last five or six games at Burnley and felt alright.”
The full interview with Jack appears in Sunday's match programme which will be available to buy at St mary's or after the game at www.TheFA.com/englandprogrammes
You can follow all of the latest news and updates from inside the England camp this summer here on TheFA.com, as a fan on the team's official Facebook page or by following @thefadotcom on Twitter.