Midfielder reflects on Euro trip so far and his upbringing at Crewe.
By Nicholas Veevers in Novi Sad.
After taking his season’s tally for England to five goals in ten games against France on Tuesday, Young Lion Nick Powell
felt that his side should have been disappointed with just a point from their opening match of the European Championships in Serbia.
The Crewe Alexandra midfielder put his side ahead in the first half with a majestic chip over French goalkeeper Quentin Beunardeau, but England couldn’t hold on and had to settle for a draw in the end which Powell felt was perhaps the right outcome over the full 80 minutes.
“It was disappointing to draw after going 2-1 up, but I thought it was a fair result in the end,” he admitted.
“I thought the team played well until the last five or ten minutes when they put us under pressure. We feel we could’ve won it, but we were happy with the draw considering it was our first game.”
Powell has been a regular for England this season and is joined in John Peacock’s squad by two other club-mates from Gresty Road in Ben Garratt and Max Clayton. They all follow in a long line of players to have come through the renowned youth academy at Crewe to go and represent their country.
All three have been involved over the course of the season and Powell admits that it’s always been good to have a few more familiar colleagues in the camp.
“It is nice to have faces you see every day, but the lads are all good generally so it doesn’t matter too much,” he explained.
“It’s a family club at Crewe so there’s a nice atmosphere there and since I was six, I’ve been helped to come through.”
Alex chief Dario Gradi has built up a top reputation for nurturing young talent at the Cheshire club, with the likes of David Platt, Geoff Thomas, Danny Murphy and many more all emerging from under his tutelage to go on and represent their country and Powell is quick to pay tribute to his boss.
“He’s helped me since I was 12, when he first starts helping out at the Academy and then through the other age groups,” said the 17-year-old.
“He’s moulded me into playing in different positions, which is helpful.
“He’s been at the club for over 20 years, so he must be doing a good job and he told me just to enjoy it out here.”
For now though, it’s onto the game with Denmark and after preparing thoroughly for the French, Powell expects a similar grounding again ahead of Friday's televised match.
“If they’re in the Euros then they must be good,” he added.
“We were concentrating on France for the first couple of days so now it will be all about Denmark.”