Everton skipper Phil Neville believes England's U16s can learn a lot from Leon Osman
England U16s v Scotland
Sky Sports Victory Shield
7.35pm, Thursday 29 November 2012
Pirelli Stadium, Burton Albion FC
Click here for ticket details
by Matt Phillips
Phil Neville says that his Everton team-mate Leon Osman is a great role model for youngsters coming through England’s youth system.
Osman made his international senior bow for Roy Hodgson’s side in last week’s 4-2 defeat to Sweden, over eight years since scoring on his first Everton start against Wolves at Goodison Park.
Neville said: “Leon has had to overcome some obstacles in his career because he has had some bad injuries.
“He has come back and got his rewards for his perseverance, good form and hard work and deserves his chance at international level.”
England U16s can clinch their twelfth Victory Shield title in a row with a point against Scotland at Burton Albion next Thursday and Neville believes that youngsters looking to carve out a career in the game should be looking up to the likes of Osman, who played five times for the U16s.
“He shows you great attitude, commitment and determination. They’re all characteristics which are key and vital to making it as a professional footballer and Leon Osman has them in abundance.”
Neville has an interest in the Scotland clash next week as it’s a game he played and scored in as a schoolboy.
He recalled: “One of my best schoolboy football memories was when we beat Scotland 1-0 at Ibrox and I got the winning goal on that occasion.
“The games are so passionate and it was a great victory for us that day, like any derby they are always competitive games and that was the first time I experienced the great rivalry between England v Scotland.
“When I played at U16 level we played home games at Wembley which was an unbelievable experience.
“Playing against teams like Italy and Holland, it gets you used to playing international football at the highest level.
"I remember playing against top class players like Francesco Totti and Boudewijn Zenden in front of huge crowds and it was vital for my development at the time.”
Neville is currently sidelined after a minor op and will miss the Norwich City game at Goodison Park this Saturday.
He added: “I’ve had a bit of a niggle over the last month and it got to the point where I couldn’t play on anymore so I’ve had a minor operation.
“Hopefully it won’t keep me out too long, I’ve recovered quite well from this sort of thing in the past and hopefully I can use the facilities at The FA’s St. George’s Park as part of my rehabilitation.”
Squad in full
Bradley Collins (Chelsea), Ryan Huddart (Arsenal)
Tosin Adarabioyo* (Manchester City), Tom Brewitt (Liverpool), Jay Dasilva (Chelsea), Mandela Egbo (Crystal Palace), Joseph Gomez (Charlton Athletic), Tafari Moore (Arsenal)
Mukhtar Ali (Chelsea), Callum Cooke** (Middlesbrough), Ryan Ledson (Everton), Joshua Onomah (Tottenham Hotspur), Daniel Pybus (Sunderland), Giorgio Rasulo (MK Dons), Jordan Rossiter (Liverpool)
Brandon Fox (Leicester City)***, Demetri Mitchell (Manchester United), Patrick Roberts (Fulham).
* replaces Kyle Cameron from Newcastle United
** replaces Adam Armstrong from Newcastle United
*** replaces Isaiah Brown from West Bromwich Albion