Jack Cork feels experiences from the qualifying stages can help the Young Lions in the finals.
UEFA European U19 Championships
Prague & Liberec, Czech Republic
14-26 July 2008
England U19s head out to the Czech Republic on Saturday, as they prepare for the European Championships opening game on Monday evening.
The Young Lions face their hosts in Jablonec in a game that will be screened live on Eurosport and in front of a sell out crowd as the cream of Europe's young players contest the title.
After coming through two rounds of qualfying this season, Brian Eastick's team will be heading to their base in Liberec confident of challenging and midfielder Jack Cork believes that the Elite Round that was played in Belarus in late May will act as a good experience for the squad.
The team picked up wins against Poland and Serbia before they secured their qualification for the finals with a draw against Belarus in what was a pressurised atmosphere, live on television and in front of a partisan crowd.
“I think the games we had in Belarus were great practice for the games we have coming up,” explained the Chelsea ace, who is likely to captain the team following the withdrawal of Ciaran Clark this week.
“Every game that we play in the Czech Republic is going to be in front of a big crowd and some are going to be on Eurosport, so it's a great opportunity for our players to go out and impress all of the people watching.
“I think we've got the players that can do really well, so I think we can step up on the day and do that.”
The squad have also had another withdrawal, with Manchester United's Daniel Welbeck picking up an injury. He has been replaced by Bolton Wanderers striker Tope Obadeyi.