Kenny Swain explains how England are adapting to the conditions in Mexico.
By James Marshall in Mexico City
Over the past few days, England's U17 squad
have been continuing their build-up to FIFA U17 World Cup with a training camp in Mexico City as they bid to acclimatise to conditions in Central America. The team flew out from London on Wednesday in preparation for the tournament which kicks-off for England next Sunday against Rwanda in Pachuca.
And Assistant Coach Kenny Swain
told TheFA.com that the players have adapted very well to the heat, after under going a couple of training sessions and a practice match against a local youth side at the state-of-the-art Pumas' training complex.
“Climate-wise, it hasn’t been as severe as we thought it would be," said Swain. "We were expecting temperatures of 30 degrees plus but it’s been around 27 or 28 degrees.
"In terms of the heat, it hasn’t been a bad atmosphere to train in actually, but the biggest test has been the altitude. It hasn’t surprised anybody but for most of us, especially the players, it’s their first experience of playing football in high altitude conditions.”
The players have been preparing at the training ground of Mexican champions Pumas, overlooking a quarry in a picturesque suburb of the Mexican capital. On Monday, they will play a practice match against Ivory Coast behind closed doors to further prepare for their game against Rwanda.
Swain, who won the Victory Shield
with his U16 team earlier this year, added: "The youngsters are getting better with every session.
“The lads trained within 24 hours of landing, so that was a bit of a stress for them but we had the good fortune of playing a practice match against the Pumas' youth team on Friday.
"Their first team won the Mexican league this season and they gave us a good run out, with every member of the team getting an hour or so under their belt. At this early stage of preparation, it was good to get a match experience.
"We will have another practice match against Ivory Coast on Monday and that should be a more difficult challenge.
“Overall though, the lads have adapted very well to the new environment so far which has pleased us all.”