Jordan Cousins reveals joy at leading the U16s to victory over Wales.
Sky Sports Victory Shield
7.40pm, Thursday 15 October 2009
Huish Park, Yeovil Town FC
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After marshalling England to a tight 1-0 victory over Wales, Jordan Cousins expressed his delight at being named captain of the U16s.
A Zak Ansah header after 76 minutes was enough to edge out a determined Welsh outfit at Huish Park, the victory proving fitting reward for an improved second-half performance from Kenny Swain’s young side.
Cousins was a member of last year’s triumphant Victory Shield squad and Swain was no doubt keen to utilise the midfielder’s experience when handing him the armband ahead of the game.
“To be honest, I was shocked,” Cousins said of his appointment. “To captain your country at any age is a great honour and I was obviously delighted. Being in last year’s squad definitely helped me this time around because I sort of knew what to expect and I could express myself a bit more.”
Wales made life difficult for the hosts, particularly in the first-half, but Cousins hailed the impact England’s three substitutions had on the game, as the introduction of Ansah, Alex Henshall and Nathan Redmond proved pivotal to the game’s shift in momentum.
“I thought we were a little cagey at the start, but that’s probably because we were a bit nervous,” he reflected.
“We didn’t start too well but we started to get on top just before half-time. We continued that in the second half and it was just a relief to get the win.
“The substitutes helped us as well I think. Zak got the goal and Alex and Nathan came on and gave us another dimension.
“Last year’s Victory Shield squad was really close, but this year’s squad gelled well straight away,” he continued. “I only knew three of the lads on the first day through playing against them in Academy games, but spending time with the other players day in, day out has allowed us to bond really well.”
1 Jordan Pickford, 2 Luke Hendrie, 3 Callum McFadzean (16 Anthony Callaghan, 66), 4 Jordan Cousins (C), 5 Sam Magri, 6 Tyler Blackett (17 Alex Henshall, 41), 7 Matthias Fanimo, 8 Robbie Cotton, 9 Hallam Hope (12 Zak Ansah, 60), 10 Adil Nabi (14 Nathan Redmond, 41), 11 Jake Caskey (15 Adam Jackson, 71)
Substitutes not used
13 Bradley Watkins, 18 Curtis Edwards
Head Coach Kenny Swain
1 Luke Chambers, 2 Adam Henley, 3 Jordan Holt, 4 Alex Nicholson, 5 Will James (C), 6 Elliot Scotcher, 7 James Loveridge, 8 George Higgins (14 Theo Wharton, 57), 9 Jack Simmons (15 Callum Holden, 68), 10 Leon Newell, 11 Will Roberts (16 Declan John, 57)
Substitutes not used
12 Christian Dibble, 13 Josh Pike, 17 Lewis Blackmore, 18 Dalton Harris
Technical Director Osian Roberts
Referee Darren Sheldrake
Assistant Referees Mark Russell and Lee Collins
Fourth Official Kevin Johnson