The U17s goal hero talks of his delight at scoring for England.
Luke Garbutt 70
Oguzhan Ozyakup 3
UEFA European U17 Championship
10am (GMT), Wednesday 6 May 2009
Stadion der Freundschaft, Gera
England got their UEFA European U17 Championship campaign off to a solid start courtesy of a 1-1 draw with the Netherlands in Gera, and after the game the Young Lions’ goal hero spoke of the ‘indescribable’ feeling of scoring a goal for his country.
Left-back Luke Garbutt drilled home the England equaliser from the edge of the box with just ten minutes remaining, after Arsenal’s Oguzhan Ozyakup had given the Dutch an early lead.
Garbutt was a key member of the England U16 team that won the Victory Shield in November, captaining the team in their last match against Scotland. His performances in that tournament earned him a call-up to John Peacock’s U17 squad for the qualifying round for the Euro Finals, and this was only his third start for this age group.
“My first objective was to just get into the team,” he explained, “so when the manager told me I was starting I was really pleased, but to score was an added bonus.
“To score for your country – well, it’s indescribable really. It’s just a brilliant feeling. I was just thinking to myself ‘hit the target’, but lucky enough it went in. When I scored, everyone came running towards me and that was quite surreal really.”
England started the game on the back foot, conceding a goal after just three minutes and it took them a while to get into their rhythm, but with Jack Wilshere and John Bostock impressing from midfield, they soon began to enjoy the majority of possession and they eventually created the clearer chances.
“It took us a while to get into the game,” Garbutt admitted. “We re-grouped at half-time and the gaffer just told us to keep going because the last 20 minutes of the first half we were on top, so it was great to get back out there for the second [half]. We did well to come back at them the way we did. All the lads were buzzing in the dressing room afterwards."
This was a well-earned point for Garbutt and his team-mates, though they will feel aggrieved not to have come away with all three, after the referee, Georgious Daloukas, twice waved away seemingly legitimate appeals for a penalty in the last few minutes.
Nevertheless, buoyed by their performance, especially after coming from a goal down, they now prepare for their second group game against Germany on 9 May and Garbutt says he is enjoying the experience of being part of an England team at a Finals tournament.
“There are a lot of young players out there who would love to play for their country, especially in a European Championship, so to be representing England in Germany, I'm honoured.”
England’s match against Germany on Saturday 9 May will be broadcast live on Eurosport (1pm kick-off, UK time).
1 Jed Steer, 2 James Hurst, 3 Luke Garbutt, 4 Gary Gardner, 6 Tom Parkes, 8 John Bostock (C) (14 Ryan Tunnicliffe, 68), 9 Jose Baxter, 10 Jack Wilshere, 12 Luke Freeman (11 Benik Afobe, 76), 15 Eddie Oshodi, 16 Lateef Elford-Alliyu (7 Jonjo Shelvey, 58)
Substitutes not used
5 Louis Laing, 13 Sam Johnstone, 17 Jacob Walcott, 18 Sam Habergham
1 Gerrit Jan ter Mate, 2 Ruben Ewald Ligeon, 3 Stefan De Vrij, 4 Dico Koppers, 6 Jerry van Ewijk (12 Joel Ivo Veltman, 41), 7 Shabir Isoufi, 8 Osama Rashid, 9 Luc Castaignos, 10 Oguzhan Ozyakup, 11 Nygel Velder (18 Ryan Bouwmeester,80), 17 Martinus Franciscus Van Huijgevoort
Substitutes not used
5 Martijn de Vries, 13 Rangelo Janga, 14 Mohamed Madmar, 15 Bob Schepers, 16 Warner Hahn
Referee Georgios Daloukas (Greece)
Assistant Referees Michael Soteriou (Cyprus) & Jaroslav Dudl (Czech Republic)
Fourth Official Gerhard Grobelnik (Austria)