For England Under-17s and Tottenham Hotspur forward Marcus Edwards, there is no greater feeling than receiving the ball out on the pitch.
“I smile in my head when I see the ball coming to me – I get excited,” the 15-year-old told TheFA.com at the England team hotel in Denmark.
“I’ve been doing it from a young age, I love attacking defenders. I like to believe that I possess flair, I’m exciting and skilful, so when that ball comes to me I couldn’t be happier.”
“Sweden was just one of those days and something we will learn from”
Marcus Edwards England U17s forward
Edwards is currently away with Dan Micciche’s Young Lions squad at the Nordic Tournament – playing a part in all three games, scoring twice. Despite some impressive displays while developing a new style of play, the results have been mixed with a 5-1 win over Iceland followed by a 1-1 draw with Finland before Thursday’s 3-0 defeat to Sweden.
The experience of the trip has been invaluable according to Edwards, and it also provided him with his finest moment whilst wearing the Three Lions.
“It was hard to break Sweden down. They knew they only had to draw to get through to the final while we had to win, but they hit us with two lucky goals early doors and it was hard to get back into it after that. It was just one of those days and something we will learn from.
“This is my first real competition away with England, so I’ve really learnt a lot about tournament mode. We’ve had to learn about the different styles of teams, and how to play in a group environment, with points and final standings at stake.”
And with European Championship qualifiers in Cyprus fast approaching in October, Edwards is already targeting a place in the squad so that he can perform in a country close to his heart.
“This has been a great experience leading up to the European qualifiers, and obviously we have the chance to try and qualify for a World Cup next year in Chile too.
“I’m really buzzing for that, especially the qualifiers in Cyprus in October. I’m from Cyprus, so I really can’t wait for them and determined to be picked in the squad.
“I never lived there as a child, but my Mum is from there so it is a country I really like. Once we get home from Denmark, I’m actually going there on holiday.
“The qualifiers will be great, and I’ll have the added incentive of having my family there and them being able to see me perform”
“Those qualifiers will be great, and I’ll have the added incentive of having my family there and them being able to see me perform. I’m just glad that John Peacock was out here to see me in the first game, hopefully I’ve shown him what I can do.”
Edwards struck twice during that victory over Iceland – producing a goal that left him particularly proud.
“It was my best performance for England by far. I was so happy to get two goals and create one.
“I remember making eye contact with Reece Oxford, and because I’m close with him, I knew that he likes to play me in with a diagonal pass. I started my run and sure enough he found me.
"I wanted to hit it first time, but I knew I hadn’t scored yet, so I brought it down with my left foot. The defender thought I was going to shoot as I’m left footed, but I pulled it back on my right, and put it straight into the corner – I was happy with that.”
After finishing as runners-up in the group behind Sweden, Edwards and his team-mates will face Denmark on Saturday in the third-place play-off, kick-off 11am.
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