Hayden Coulson hopes to reveal creative side for England

Friday 24 Oct 2014
Coulson reveals his creative side
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Hayden Coulson is hoping to show off his creative spark for England U17s in Cyprus this week.

The Middlesbrough left-back is preparing for three European Championship qualifiers on the Mediterranean island, with the host nation lying in wait for the Young Lions first on Saturday.

Coulson is a keen student of the game, particularly of England and Everton star Leighton Baines, and he is hoping to make as much of an impact as his senior counterpart over the coming week as well as shutting out the opposition attackers.

Cyprus v England

European U17 Championship
First Round Qualifier
1pm, Saturday 25 October 2014
Kouklia Community Stadium, Paphos


"Baines and Ashley Cole are two players that I look at the most and try to learn from," he told TheFA.com at the team hotel in Paphos.

"I don’t get many goals, but I contribute with a few assists at Boro and I’ll be looking to do the same here if given the chance.

"I’m not on free-kicks, but I’ll be looking to use my pace down the wing and try to create some chances for the lads up front."

Coulson was a regular for the U16s last season, playing in the Victory Shield and Montaigu Tournament prior to featuring in the St. George's Park Tournament in August, his first taste of U17 action.

And he believes that his previous experiences with the Young Lions and an early arrival in Cyprus have given him the ideal preparation for the three qualifiers ahead.

"It’s been hard with the weather, the first training session was really hot but we’ve got to work through it," he added.

"That’s why we came out here a day or two early, to make sure we were fully prepared and it is going to help us get used to it.

“We’ll be ready for the first game. If we had arrived later then we would not have been as used to it but we’re fine now."

John Peacock’s side will have to overcome a Cypriot side backed by a home crowd and in testing afternoon temperatures on Saturday before facing France and Macedonia next week.

But Coulson and his team-mates will be well-versed in what to expect from Saturday’s game and how to approach all three matches as they look to progress.

"We start off facing Cyprus, and they are going to be at their home ground with a big backing," explained Coulson.

“Every time you play for England everyone always wants to beat you.”

Hayden Coulson 


"They’ll be used to the conditions, but we have prepared right and it’ll be a good game.

"We have watched the videos of them, and they play differently to what a lot of us are used to, and they’ll want to beat us."

The 16-year-old continued: "France will probably be the hardest test on paper, but they’ll all be tough games. 

"I've learnt that every time you play for England everyone always wants to beat you, but we have to play our normal game.

"We have a lot of pace and skill, but I think we have ability in all areas from defence to attack. We are confident we can do well this tournament."

And having watched his Middlesbrough team-mates Callum Cooke and Dael Fry go all the way in this competition last season to win the Euro title, Coulson is looking to emulate his team-mates from the Riverside.

"It’s a really positive camp and everyone is loving it,” he revealed. “We all want to follow on from what the U17s did last season.

"A year ago they were in our position now, so we have a lot of hard work ahead but we will keep going."

By Gary Stonehouse Staff Writer in Paphos, Cyprus