Reece Oxford is hoping for a 'big year' with England U17s

Sunday 03 Aug 2014
Reece Oxford captained England twice at the Nordics
Reece Oxford is hoping for “a big year” with England as he aims to emulate one of his West Ham United team-mates.

The 16-year-old captained the Young Lions twice this past week at the Nordic U17 Tournament in Denmark and he is now looking forwards towards an “exciting” season ahead.

“Playing in this side with the style we’ve been working on is great,” the athletic centre-half told “You get a lot of time on the ball, you can relax, and we are progressing as a team – we just need to finish a bit more.

“We showed we do have goals in us by scoring five in the first game, so it is an exciting time and it’ll hopefully be a big year for me with the European Championship qualifiers coming up.

"Playing in this side with the style we’ve been working on is great"

Reece Oxford


“If I get picked for the squads, and keep working and doing well, then it could be very big.”

And if it is inspiration Oxford is looking for, then he does not have to look far. His team-mate at Upton Park, Sam Howes, was a member of England’s successful U17 side that won the European Championship last season.

“I know Sam Howes really well from West Ham, and obviously he was part of the squad that won the Euros in May. Hopefully I can help us to win another one this year. He’s a great example for me to follow.”

And on his week in Denmark, Oxford added: “It’s been my first time playing Scandinavian opposition, they were very tough and direct. Quite often they were quick to play it upfield, so as a defender it was a lot more physical to what I am used too, but I’ve enjoyed it.

“The last game against Sweden, even though we lost 1-0, we dominated. It was an enjoyable match to play in, especially for me as captain.

“Leading out your country is the one thing everyone wants to do in their career, and I aim to hopefully do it in the future too.

“I feel proud wearing it, the team have that respect for you as captain, it’s good.”

By Gary Stonehouse Staff Writer