Big prize on offer
Sunday, 30 May, 2010
Young Lions all set for Elite Round decider in Ukraine.
UEFA European U19 Championship
Elite Qualifying Round
26-31 May 2010
Click here for fixtures
By Nicholas Veevers
Noel Blake takes his side into Monday’s game with Ukraine knowing that a victory or even a draw will secure a spot in the European U19 Championship Finals for a third successive year.
After beating Republic Of Ireland and Bosnia-Herzegovina in their first two Elite Qualifying Round games, England now head into the final match with their hosts and the aim of reaching the last eight of this competition again.
Blake knows it won’t be easy though, as the Young Lions face a trip away from their Kiev base to the Ukrainian’s Borex hub in Borodyanka.
There is also history to contend with, as several players in both the England and Ukraine squad were involved in last year’s Final of this competition in Donetsk, which Ukraine won to become European Champions for the first time.
“They won the title last year, and they certainly won’t want to relinquish it on home territory,” said Blake.
“We know that will be a very difficult game, but we will take every game at a time and keep analysing things.
“We’ve played two and won two, so we can’t go into the game with any complaints really and we’re looking forward to the next match.
“It’s a big prize on offer, but we know we’ll have to work hard for it.
“There are no easy games in international football, all three of the matches out here will be different, and we knew that from the start.”
The Finals take place in northern France in July and August.