U16s get first taste of international football on Friday in Victory Shield opener
England U16s v Wales U16s
The Sky Sports Victory Shield
7.35pm, Friday 4 October 2013
Aggborough Stadium, Kidderminster Harriers FC
Live on Sky Sports
Click here for fixtures
The latest batch of England hopefuls will have their international introduction on Friday evening as Kenny Swain’s U16s face Wales in their opening Victory Shield fixture in Kidderminster.
The Shield is the annual ‘British Championship’ for the U16 schoolboy teams of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
And the Young Lions will be aiming for a 13th successive title this year in a competition that has become the annual entry-point for elite young players in the UK.
In recent years Raheem Sterling, Ross Barkley, Danny Welbeck, Glen Johnson, Wes Brown, Joe Cole, Jermain Defoe, Darren Bent, Wayne Rooney, Aaron Lennon and James Milner have all featured in the Shield.
And Michael Owen smashed the seasonal scoring record for England Schoolboys in 1995, notching 12 goals in eight games.
So head coach Swain admits he always looks forward to a new Shield campaign, especially with home advantage.
“It’s always an exciting time when the Victory Shield comes around in any new season,” he said.
“It's a unique opportunity for people all around the country to come to the matches and see the best young English talent which is coming through our system.
“It’s a real honour for all of us to be involved in working with these players and introducing them to the international arena.
“There won’t be a lack of passion from either team, with national pride and the determination to perform well being high on the agenda for the players.”
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