England U19s arrive in Budapest ahead of Hungary test

Wednesday 13 Nov 2013
Noel Blake leads his Young Lions to Hungary

England's U19 squad have arrived in Budapest ahead of Thursday’s international fixture against Hungary.

Head coach Noel Blake, who will be hoping to return to this corner of Europe next summer when Hungary host the UEFA European U19 Championship in July, says the trip will be used as opportunity for both players and staff to learn.

“We need to approach every game in the same, professional manner," he said.

“The game also gives us the opportunity to experience what life is like on the road – even if it is a relatively short trip, we can still learn a lot and so can they.”

The game will be the group’s first outing since finishing top of the First Qualifying Round group in Slovenia in October – and their last before March 2014 – and Blake, who has made a number of changes to his 18-man squad since the last gathering, insists that games such as this are vital for him learn more about the talent pool he has available to him.

“It’s an opportunity for everybody to impress and should certain players become unavailable for the Elite Round – which has happened over the past 10 years – then the lads that I bring in will have all had experience of the international setup.

“It is very different to what they’ll all be used to with their clubs. We need them all to be ready if and when the call comes.”

The former Birmingham, Portsmouth and Stoke City defender added that the Young Lions could only be spurred on by seeing where could come back next summer.

“It’s great to play against Hungary on their own patch,” he said.

“Obviously we all know the Finals are here next summer – we have to negotiate the Elite Round first of course, but it’s certainly a good motivation to be here now and to have a look at the facilities and conditions.”


Goalkeepers: Mitchell Beeney (Chelsea), Luke Coddington (Middlesbrough).

Defenders: Calum Chambers (Southampton), Shay Facey (Manchester City), Ola Aina (Chelsea), Matt Targett (Southampton), Jerome Williams (Crystal Palace).

Midfielders: Ben Pearson (Manchester United)* Jordon Ibe (Liverpool), Josh Murphy (Norwich City), Jacob Murphy (Norwich City), Lewis Baker (Chelsea), Joe Rothwell (Manchester United), John Swift (Chelsea), Paul Digby (Barnsley).

Forwards: Callum Robinson** (Aston Villa), Mason Bennett (Derby County), Chris Long (Everton).

* Replaces Alex Mowatt (Leeds United).
** Replaces James Wilson (Manchester United).

By Jamie Reid Senior Writer