England Under-21s begin preparations for Wales

Thursday 15 May 2014
England Under-21s were back in training at St. George's Park on Thursday
England Under-21s reported to St. George’s Park on Thursday afternoon and were straight onto the training pitch ahead of next week’s Euro qualifier with Wales.

Gareth Southgate’s squad will travel to Swansea for the game against the Red Dragons on Monday evening, before heading off to the Toulon Tournament in southern France.

And with a number of new faces in the group, the first session was a chance for Southgate and assistant coach Steve Holland to cast an eye over things.

They weren’t disappointed either, with a high tempo and competitive edge in training despite many of those involved reporting for international duty on the back of a busy season.

Wales U21s v England U21s

UEFA European U21 Championship
Group One
7.30pm, Monday 19 May 2014
Liberty Stadium, Swansea City FC
Live on Sky Sports


"I watched the training and the quality is outstanding and new players give a challenge to the lads that have been with us all year, which is good," said Southgate after the session.

"It highlights the depth of ability that we've got in this country.

"I think we've obviously got a lot of new players in, and several players called up to the senior squad, which is brilliant.

"There are one or two injured or involved in the play-off final and that's an opportunity for players that we haven't had the chance to look at this season to come in.”

Importantly for Southgate, the team spirit which has been evident throughout the campaign has remained solid. 

England Under-21s train at St. George

The squad were back in training at St. George's Park on Thursday


The players visibly enjoyed their training session, whilst also keeping things sharp and focused when it came to working.

"That's key, that environment for players is crucial," added Southgate.

"It's very important for us and one of the first priorities is that the players come and enjoy playing for England and we want them to be able to express themselves, we want them to work hard and be ready to learn.

"But enjoyment is key to all of that and if they can have fun, enjoy their training and each other's company, the rest will hopefully follow.”

Watch video highlights of the training session from Thursday in the media player above.

By Nicholas Veevers Content Manager - FA Owned Channels at St. George's Park