Michael's future focus
Saturday, 04 June, 2011
Mancienne looks forward to Euro 2011 before joining new club Hamburg.
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Michael Mancienne is hoping to end one chapter of his life with European Championship glory with England, before opening a new page when he joins up with German outfit Hamburg at the start of next season.
The England Under-21s defender has been with Chelsea since he was nine years old, but last week put pen to paper on a deal with the Bundesliga side after spending much of the last four years out on loan at QPR and Wolves.
But before he heads to Northern Germany he wants to see out his England Under-21s career in style.
Having made his debut for Stuart Pearce’s side in August 2007, Mancienne has worn the captain's armband in his last five appearances and has amassed 27 caps. He also played in the European Championship in Sweden two years ago as the Three Lions finished runners-up. Now, with England preparing once again for the Finals in Denmark this month, he is determined to help the team go one better.
“I’m really looking forward to the tournament, there’s been a really long build up waiting for it but the boys are all ready to go,” he told FATV (watch the video interview). “I’m really confident. I had a bad injury in the middle of the season but came back towards the end of it and played in the last few games. I feel good and I’m ready to go.
“Playing against high-quality opposition, like Germany in the Final they have some players who have kicked on to play for teams like Real Madrid.
He continued: “To get so close and to let it slip at the last hurdle we really want to win this tournament, especially as I won’t be able to play for the Under-21s again.
“I came into the squad pretty young and it’s helped my game to play and train with such good players. Playing under Stuart who has given me a chance to play I’m very appreciative of that. Hopefully my last game will be the Final and we would have won that. Hopefully it’ll be a proud moment for me.
“I want to do well in the tournament and when I go back to my club, I want to do well for them. It’ll be a different experience, Hamburg is a massive club and that’s what attracted me to go out there. I know I’m going to be playing games, the football will suit me and I’m really looking forward to going out there.
“I watched a few Bundesliga games on ESPN, I know Frank (Arnesen) really well and he’s the one who put the offer to me. The move to Germany is a big move and I really wanted to go as soon as that was put on the table in front of me. I’m really looking forward to it.”
While Mancienne was allowed to leave the England training camp in southern Spain last week for one day to sign for Hamburg, he says the opportunity for the players to train and relax together is very helpful as they build up to Wednesday’s departure for the Finals.
“We have so much depth here in this squad and have so many good players. The boys are really up for it and I’m sure we can go on and win it.
“When we’re out on the training pitch it’s really serious and the standard is very high. Training was intense and the boys looked really sharp. We were also able to chill with the boys and chat. It’s great to have boys here who I’ve played for most of my life and grown up with. We’re going our different ways after the tournament, playing for the Under-21s all the boys will miss it.”
And as they put their finishes touches on their preparation for the Euro 2011 opener against Spain in Herning on 12 June, Mancienne and the Under-21s side go head-to-head with Norway at Southampton on Sunday.
It was the corresponding fixture in the build-up to the 2009 Championship, a 7-0 victory over Azerbaijan at Milton Keynes, where Mancienne scored his only goal for the Under-21s and he’s looking for a similar result to give them another boost this time around.
“It was a happy moment for me as I don’t get many goals, but we battered them. It gave the boys a great boost ahead of the tournament. So hopefully against Norway on Sunday we can do the same.”
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.