Nicholas Veevers in Donetsk
Tuesday, 21 July, 2009
U19s defender Kyle Walker reflects on a busy few days.
England v Switzerland
Group A, UEFA European U19 Championship Finals
5pm, Tuesday 21 July 2009 (3pm BST)
Metalurh Stadium, Donetsk
England U19 defender Kyle Walker is hoping he can round off a hectic few days by helping the Young Lions to victory in their opening game of the European Championship Finals.
The pacy right-back linked up with the squad last week, but was then forced to travel out to Ukraine 48 hours later than the rest of the group after he was given permission by Sheffield United to speak to Tottenham Hotspur over a move to the Premier League outfit.
A medical on Friday was passed before he signed a deal on Saturday and was then able to re-join the England squad in Donetsk in time for preparations for Tuesday’s game with Switzerland.
The 19-year-old only picked up his first cap for England earlier this year and was forced to miss May’s Elite Round qualifiers due to his involvement with Sheffield United’s play-off games, so he’s now raring to go in what is his first experience of international tournament football.
"I’m glad I got the chance to come back here, because I missed the last qualifying group games," said Walker.
"It’s good to be here and I’m glad to be around. I’ve never really played outside England before this, so it’s a new experience for me really.
"It’s nice to come away and see how other countries work and play in the heat, so I’m really looking forward to it now.
"We want to get three points in the first game, so I’m just hoping to be involved and to be able to help us do that."
As for the whirlwind of the weekend, the Sheffield-born ace was delighted to have tied up his move.
"It’s been a mad couple of days really, but I’ve enjoyed it," he admitted.
"I got permission to leave to go and sign for Spurs but I’m happy to be back now and ready for the games here."