Brian Eastick says England Under-21s' preparations for Euro 2013 are going well
England Under-21s coach Brian Eastick says the preparations for the Euro 2013 opener against Italy on Wednesday are going well.
Stuart Pearce’s side are currently in Turkey for a week-long training camp before they hop on a plane bound for Israel on Sunday.
Nat Chalobah and Wilf Zaha are the only two players in Pearce’s 23-man squad for the tournament yet to meet up.
But Eastick says they’ll join the rest of the party on Saturday after a few days off to recover from the play-off Final at Wembley.
And he expects the team to be firing on all cylinders by the time they arrive in Israel and be ready for the Wednesday’s big kick-off in Tel Aviv.
“We’ve been a bit short on the training ground earlier in the week with about 14 or 15 outfield players available each day, but hopefully by the time we fly to Israel on Sunday everyone should be up and running.” Eastick told TheFA.com.
“Nathaniel Chalobah and Wilf Zaha join us on Saturday, so that will be good to have them here. They’ve had a few days rest after a long season with their clubs and Monday’s game at Wembley.
“Stuart has been very careful with the players in terms of not pushing them too much as most of them are coming back from a bit of a break at the end of the season."
He continued: “We train for an hour and a half in the morning, working on things specific to prepare for the first game.
“The players then have the afternoon to themselves to relax. It’s been terrific, the facilities here are absolutely top drawer, two pitches are in excellent condition, so it’s been an enjoyable few days.”
There was a new face in the camp this time, after Birmingham City’s 19-year-old winger Nathan Redmond was drafted in.
Redmond has played for England throughout the youth teams, but after impressing Pearce in the Championship this season, he was given his first taste of the Under-21s this week.
“Young Nathan Redmond, who hasn’t been with us before, was a little bit of the new boy on the block,” said Eastick.
“I’ve worked with him before at the younger age groups and have seen him this season playing for Birmingham and he’s settled in very well this week.
“He’s been surprised by the quality of the players we’ve got and how quickly they move the ball.
“It took him a few days to settle in but the last couple of days he’s looked very good in training. He’s showing some of the ability that we know that he has.”
England kick-off their Finals campaign against Italy in Tel Aviv on 5 June and you can keep updated with us inside the camp, here on TheFA.com, via Twitter @FA or the official England Facebook page...