John Peacock's squad jet off for the World Cup on Wednesday.
By Nicholas Veevers
and his England U17 squad
fly out to Mexico later today in preparation for the FIFA U17 World Cup, which starts next week.
The Young Lions, who qualified for the competition after their performance in last month’s European Championship Finals, are heading out to Mexico City first where they will stay for a week-long training camp before their group games get underway against Rwanda on Sunday 19 June.
They then face further matches against Canada and Uruguay in Group C, before hopefully progressing into the Second Round and beyond.
However, having previously experienced the U17 World Cup in 2007
when England reached the quarter final, Peacock knows that it’s going to be a challenge from start to finish for his players but one that he wouldn’t change for anything given the variety of opposition and experiences that his players will enjoy.
“It’s an extremely interesting draw actually,” he told TheFA.com, ahead of the flight to Mexico.
“We don’t play many African teams at youth level so to play someone like Rwanda, for who I believe it’s their first time in a World Cup Finals, will be very intriguing but no doubt very testing too.
“It will be nice to play Canada, they are a Commonwealth country and I have a close affinity with them.
“And Uruguay as well, as we don’t play a lot of South American teams, so it’s an interesting draw that will throw a lot of problems our way but hopefully we can come up with some good solutions from the group.”
Peacock selected his 21-man squad
for the World Cup two weeks ago now and has been pleased with the response, as all of the players who have helped in the process of qualifying for the Finals and reaching the semi-final of the Euros this season are included.
After meeting up on Monday and having their final training session on home soil on Tuesday, everyone is now just ready to travel and get acclimatised into their new surroundings before the big kick-off.
Once their training camp, where the squad hope to play a warm-up friendly with another of the participating nations, has concluded, the group will head north of Mexico City to Pachuca in the Hidalgo state. It is here where the Young Lions will face both Rwanda and Canada, before they travel even further north to the city of Torreon, which will host the last group match with Uruguay.
“We’re really looking forward to it now,” added Peacock.
“I recently spent five days out there for the draw and it is a fantastic footballing country.
“There will be a lot of press and publicity attached to this tournament and the Mexicans are very passionate about their football.
“My first World Cup in Korea was fantastic and I’m sure this one will be just as good. It will be an incredible learning experience for all of the players and one that can develop them going forward in the future.” You can follow England's progress in Mexico on TheFA.com and Twitter (@thefadotcom)