Jack Rodwell is currently experiencing life in his fifth age group with England.
England v France
Under-21 International Match
The City Ground, Nottingham Forest FC
8pm, Tuesday 31 March 2009
Tickets £10 adults and £5 children and concessions
Ticket hotline: 0871 226 1980
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Live on Setanta
Everton midfielder Jack Rodwell is enjoying his first taste of Under-21s football.
The 18-year-old, who has experience through the age-ranges with the National Team, is gearing up for what could be his first cap for Stuart Pearce’s side when they take on France on Tuesday night.
It’s the second game in a week for the Under-21s and for Rodwell, but while Pearce and his team were in Norway, Rodwell had just captained the U19s at Walsall.
However, he always knew that after that game he would be stepping up an age group for The Three Lions’ trip to Nottingham Forest.
"It’s been enjoyable," he said. "I’ve been involved with the U16s, U17s, U18s and U19s, but the Under-21s is another step up.
"I was really pleased to get the call for the 21s. To be involved in the 19s then the 21s it’s great to be able to get the chance for two games. Being in the U21s is a big step up, because there are a lot of players who play for the 19s but don’t make that step up. But I’ve been playing a bit for Everton in the first team, so I feel I’m capable at this level.
"The players here are first team regulars, they are great technically, but they are good lads to be around too.
"I didn’t know many before I came, only Danny Welbeck from Manchester United as I’ve played with him at other ages, but I’ve played against a few of them and they are good players but it’s good to see what they are like in training as well."
And it’s in training that the young Toffee, who has made 18 appearances for the Goodison Park outfit this season, can watch his fellow team-mates and get some ideas about his own game.
"There’s a few that can play there [midfield] actually. There’s Fabrice [Muamba], Michael Mancienne and [Tom] Huddlestone and I’ve been watching them and have been impressed. Huddlestone’s passing is amazing and Mancienne is cool on the ball.
"But there’s a great set of lads here. All technically good, good mentality so they should do well."
Rodwell’s last outing was with Brian Eastick’s U19s last Wednesday when they drew 0-0 with Czech Republic at Walsall.
"It was a weird game really, we both cancelled each other out," he said. "But which kept a clean sheet, which is good.
"It was hard to get the ball down and play. I was playing in midfield so it was kind of bypassing us a bit and it was a game where we had to just put our foot in and try and see it through and maybe snatch a win. But it wasn’t meant to be."