Skipper certain experience will benefit
Wednesday, 28 July, 2010
Matthew James hopes to take the positives from England's Euro campaign.
Nicholas Veevers in Caen
England captain Matt James spoke of the U19 squad’s disappointment following their semi-final defeat against Spain on Tuesday and admitted they more than met their match in Saint-Lo.
After a season which saw them play 10 games through two qualifying rounds and then in the Finals to reach the last four of Europe, the midfielder felt the Young Lions came unstuck against one of the best teams he has ever faced during his time with England, which has seen him compete at U16, U17 and U20 levels over the last few years.
But with a World Cup to look forward to next year, he hopes that all involved can learn from the experience to take it back to their clubs for the new season.
“I’ve played against some good sides for my country but they (Spain) were very good,” he said.
“They have some very good players in their team and they probably have that style of play drilled into them from a very early age.
“It’s something that we have to try and work on, we wanted to try and play football and we were trying to do the right things but they were very hard to deal with.
“We’re obviously very disappointed to be going out at this stage, a semi-final.
“One more step and we’re in the Final, but I thought we came up against a very good side.
“We did play well in stages and had a couple of chances, but overall we’ve made too many mistakes and it’s cost us.”
James will now return to Preston North End, where he is on loan for the season from Manchester United and he hopes that some of his squad mates will be able to do a similar thing in the coming months which can also help aid their international development.
“I think the more first team experience you get, the more experience you have when you come to play against people your own age,” he explained.
“You’re playing against much better players than at youth or reserve level and the tempo is much quicker, so hopefully it will be a good step.
“If we can get more players doing that, it’s one of those things and your confidence can go through the roof.”
James has already tasted life at the U20 World Cup, as he was part of the squad which featured in last year’s tournament in Egypt whilst still two years younger than many of the players he was competing against.
He still recalls that experience and is now hoping to sample it again in Colombia next July.
“I went to the U20 World Cup last year in Egypt and it’s the second biggest FIFA tournament after the main World Cup,” he said.
“To go to a place like Colombia will be an eye opener and hopefully if we can get some of the players together from this group and maybe some more of those coming through, it will be a good experience.
“We came up against an African side, a South American side and Uzbekistan in Egypt, so that’s one of those things that if you can get that experience, it can be massive and if you go on to play for the Under-21s or the Seniors in a tournament then you’re ready.”