Freddie Sears is hoping the Euros can be a perfect breaker between last season and the new one.
UEFA European U19 Championships
Prague & Liberec, Czech Republic
14-26 July 2008
Click here for the full tournament details
Young Lions striker Freddie Sears is hoping that the European Championships can give him a perfect end to last season and a great start to the new one.
The 18-year-old made the first team breakthrough with West Ham United in the last few months of the campaign, scoring his first Premiership goal against Blackburn Rovers on his debut in March.
He then played a crucial role in helping the Young Lions to qualify for the finals by scoring both goals in a 2-0 win over Poland in May’s Elite Qualifying round in Belarus.
“It’s been a good year and we’ve done well and stuck together as a group,” he told TheFA.com.
“There have been a few injuries and different people coming in, but overall it’s a good squad.
“It was good to go to Belarus and we expected a hard tournament there, but deep down I think we expected to go through, which we did but there were some hard games so it was good to get through.
“Tournaments are different because you play so many games in a short space of time, so it’s all about recovery really and Belarus should set us up well for the finals.
“Obviously we are going to see great players out there because a few of the best players in the world have played at this tournament.
“You expect different things from different teams, so it should be good.”
Sears and his Upton Park and England team-mate James Tomkins will certainly be going to the finals in good spirit after both making their debuts with the Hammers and receiving words of encouragement from their manager Alan Curbishley.
“He (Curbishley) spoke to me and Tomkins and said ‘go away with England and do your best and then come back and be ready for the start of the season’,” added Sears.
“It’s been unbelievable what has happened though, to come into the team at West Ham and score a goal and then start playing a few games.
“I didn’t really see it happening at the start of the season when I broke my ankle, but it was a great way to end the season so it’s a shame that it’s ended.
“But with the finals, it’s like a way to end the season off and then start the new one really.”