Loach ready for new adventure
Jamie Bradbury in Bitola
Thursday, 03 September, 2009
The Under-21s 'keeper is looking forward to the new campaign
England Under-21 'keeper Scott Loach is gearing up for a new European Championship campaign with the Three Lions and believes they have the squad to go all the way.
Loach, a regular in goal at Watford, was part of Stuart Pearce's team that travelled to Sweden in the summer and reached the Final.
He made two appearances at Euro 2009, both against Germany, but it was the second game with the trophy at stake that he'll remember the most as England lost 4-0.
However, the new season has brought with it fresh faces and fresh hope and he aims to help England go one step further. And on Friday in Prilep, Macedonia, they begin their first steps on the road to Denmark 2011.
"It's a whole new campaign, we didn't quite make it the full way last time, but it's a whole new group of lads and a new adventure, so there's definitely exciting times ahead," said Loach.
"To get to the Final in itself was a big achievement, so not to win it we were quite unlucky, we had a great group of lads and the management and everything else was really good. We have ten players left over from the previous campaign so it gives us a good spine going into this campaign.
"The new lads coming in have also got the experience of playing in the Premier League, so we definitely have the quality to perhaps go that one step further this time."
Loach continued: "If you look at the squad we have the likes of Mancienne and Sturridge who are at a big club, you've got the young lads like Jack Wilshere who is coming through and Jack Rodwell who have been absolutley brilliant for their clubs. If they can bring that into the national team, it doesn't matter what age you are, if we can gel together then I'm sure we can go on and really light this tournament up."
And with the opening game in mind, Loach added: "It'll be hot weather, and you don't under-estimate teams like Macedonia. We've played the Dutch and the Germans, but they'll bring something else to the table that perhaps we're not used to. But we've got the strength to pick up the three points."
England’s first match is on Friday at 2.30pm (BST) at the 15,000 capacity Goce Delcev Stadium in Prilep, home to Macedonia First Division outfit FK Pobeda. They then fly to Tripoli in Greece for their second game on Tuesday evening, ko 5.00pm (BST).
To stay up to date with the Under-21s throughout their campaign, stay logged on to TheFA.com or become a Fan of Stuart Pearce's team on Facebook