Caulker ready for Euro challenge
By Nicholas Veevers
Thursday, 06 September, 2012
Defender Steven Caulker wants Euro Play-Off spot to further his international know-how.
Steven Caulker is hoping to take the latest step on his international odyssey on Thursday afternoon, by helping England Under-21s into the Play-Offs for next summer’s European Championship Finals.
The Tottenham Hotspur defender has been a mainstay for the Three Lions at U19 and Under-21 level over the last few years and was also an impressive performer for Team GB earlier this summer, earning himself a call-up to Roy Hodgson’s Senior squad for the game with Italy last month.
Whilst he didn’t feature in that match, the 20-year-old is just concentrating on taking in everything that he can to give him momentum for the future, starting in Azerbaijan on Thursday evening in what is the penultimate group match for Stuart Pearce’s team.
“They’re all massive experiences for me as a player, Euro Finals with the U19s, Team GB and the Under-21s. I’m still only 20, but I’ve had a lot of experience from all these games and I think it helps,” said Caulker, who had an impressive season on loan at Swansea City last term, after previous spells with Bristol City and Yeovil Town.
“I’ve been involved with different teams and out on loan for the last three years so it’s a big season for me now and I’m hoping to make a breakthrough both at Spurs and with England.
“I’m going to have to be patient, it’s not something that I’ve been used to but I can learn to deal with it and work hard on the pitch to make sure that when my chance comes I’ll be ready.”
The Under-21s know that if they can win this afternoon’s game in Baku and then follow it up with three points against Norway in Chesterfield next Monday, then they will secure top spot in the Group and hopefully a better tie in the Play-Offs, which is drawn next Friday.
Two years ago, soon after Caulker had starred for the U19s in the Euro Finals in France, the Feltham-born ace remembers watching Pearce’s side beat Romania at the same stage over two legs and should England reach the Play-Offs then he is aiming for a repeat performance.
“I remember watching the game against Romania two years ago and the lads had to get a result away from home,” he revealed. “The lads did really well to make the Euro campaign that year and hopefully we can get ourselves into that position again this year.”
Tickets are still on sale for Monday’s game with Norway. Call 01246 488232 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or book online at www.chesterfield-fc.co.uk