After the exploits of Team GB, Euro qualifying resumes for England's Under-21s.
England v Norway
2013 UEFA European Under-21s Championshp Qualifier
7.00pm, Monday 10 September 2012
Proact Stadium, Chesterfield FC
Ticket Details, click here
After a six-month break, with attentions focused on Team GB at London 2012, Stuart Pearce is back in Under-21s mode as he prepares his team for the run-in in their 2013 UEFA European Under-21 Championship Qualifying
Pearce will next week name his Three Lions squad for the September double-header away in Azerbaijan and at home to Norway in Chesterfield
and may well call upon a number of players who featured for Great Britain at this summer’s Olympics.
Penalty defeat to Korea Republic
ended their gold medal hopes, but with points at stake against the Azeri and Norway, it’s a different proposition for England, who can secure their spot in the play-offs for next year’s Finals in Israel.
The home fans at Chesterfield’s Proact Stadium on 10 September will play a part when Norway come to town. Sitting just two points behind Pearce’s young side, they’ll no doubt be looking to respond to their 2-1 defeat to England in their own back yard last October.
Should England triumph in Azerbaijan in the first match of the double four days earlier, the Norwegians will need a similar result from their trip to Belgium to stand a chance of overhauling the Three Lions.
Having been a part of Pearce’s Team GB squad, Bolton Wanderers striker Marvin Sordell will be hoping to be involved so he can add to his Under-21s tally of two goals in seven appearances and help claim the Group 8 top-spot and a place in the two-legged play-off in October.
Sordell was handed his first call up by Stuart Pearce for their opening game of last season, a meeting with Azerbaijan at Vicarage Road
– the ex-Watford man’s former home. And he was greeted onto the pitch as a second-half substitute by the Hornets faithful as the Three Lions ran out comfortable 6-0 winners. Though he didn’t mark his bow with a goal, it didn’t take long for him to open his Under-21s account. And how.
Four days later the team travelled to Barnsley for a friendly fixture against Israel
– hosts of next year’s tournament. Sordell earned his first start, but at the break the home side trailed 1-0. A re-invigorated team came out for the second period and, after Martyn Waghorn had levelled, up stepped Sordell to put England in front.
Having already seen two strikes saved, there was no stopping this screamer from the man-of-the-match that flew all of 30-yards from his left-foot into the net, off the upright.
“I turned and then remember hitting it from long way out thinking ‘why did I shoot from there’,” said Sordell. “But it went in and was a great feeling to score my first goal for the Under-21s.
“Wherever you play you just want to go out and impress and that was no different when I came into the Under-21s. I scored in my second game and got another [against Iceland in November
], so I just want to keep being involved in the squad, playing in the team and scoring goals for England.
“Being picked for my country means the world to me. Every time I get called up and selected to play is a great honour so to play for England in a major tournament would be amazing.”
England’s last encounter, way back in February, saw them respond to a November defeat to Belgium by beating the same opposition 4-0 at Middlesbrough’s Riverside Stadium
. Arsenal’s Henri Lansbury hit two – including a long-range wonder-goal
– Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain netted a penalty, while another of the Team GB stars, Steven Caulker, headed his first Under-21s goal.
“It was my first goal for England so I’m really delighted,” said the Tottenham man after the game.
“You’ve got to be in the right place at the right time sometimes and today was my day.”
England will now be focused on two more victories as they eye a place in Israel and what would be their fourth consecutive Championship Finals.
Tickets for the England Under-21s fixture at Chesterfield are priced at £10 Adults, £5 children (£0.50 per order for credit card payment applies).
Group bookings [click here to download form] can be made priced at £5 for adults and £2.50 for children, subject to availability (a £1.50 postage and packing fee applies). Charter Standard clubs can also apply for a maximum of 25 tickets [click here for CS Booking Form]. Concessions are classed as under 18s, students and over 65s.
Call 01246 488232 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to get your tickets now or book online at www.chesterfield-fc.co.uk
The game will be broadcast live on ESPN.