Bond aiming to impress in England's Euro warm-ups

Tuesday 24 Mar 2015
Bond met some local Czech youngsters in Olomouc after training on Tuesday
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Jonathan Bond is hoping the absence of regular ‘keeper Jack Butland will give him the chance to stake his claim with England Under-21s.

The Watford stopper has been Butland’s regular understudy throughout the Euro Qualifying campaign under Gareth Southgate.

Czech Republic v England

U21 International Match
7.30pm, Friday 27 March 2015
Latna Stadium, Prague

But with Butland called into Roy Hodgson’s senior squad following an injury to Fraser Forster at the weekend, Bond and Fulham’s Marcus Bettinelli are both training hard in Olomouc ahead of Friday’s game with Czech Republic and next week’s clash with Germany in Middlesbrough.

"As goalkeepers, we both want to play as many minutes as possible and it’s great for us to be able to prepare for the tournament out here," said Bond.

"Everyone is looking for a chance to impress and with the games being friendlies, everyone will get a chance to play so it’s down to the gaffer.

"However he wants to prepare, we’ll do it that way."

Southgate’s squad arrived in Olomouc on Monday for an early taste of their base for the Euro Finals in Czech Republic this June.

And with Friday’s game against the host nation taking place in Prague, Bond and his team-mates have welcomed the chance to familiarise themselves with the venue ahead of their summer return.

"The training ground is nice, so it’s a good place to be and hopefully it’s a place to be successful," he added.

England Under-21s

Bond made three appearances during the Euro Qualifiers for Gareth Southgate's side

"It’s good to be familiar with the surroundings and the more comfortable we are, the more comfortable we will feel and that will transmit onto the pitch.

"It’s been very good, the weather has been nice and it should be warm in the summer too. 

"It’s ideal for training now, the pitches are decent and we went to train at the stadium on Monday which was a very English-style stadium."

With these two games against fellow Euro Finalists to come, England are looking to test themselves against the standard of opposition they will be facing in the Finals.

Having already played Portugal and France in November, it’s another chance to assess both themselves and their rivals as the competition draws nearer.

"Every game from now on is going to be like that, watching on and seeing how the other nations are doing and preparing," he explained.

"These next two games are big for us and Czech Republic will be a good team.

"I know one of their players, Matej Vydra, who plays for Watford and he’s a very good player so if that’s the sort that we’re up against it’s going to be a tough test.

"And Germany maybe even more so, so it’s two great games to prepare for the tournament and that’s all we can ask for."

Tickets for England's game with Germany at Middlesbrough's Riverside Stadium are still on sale now. Click here for more details.

England Under-21 'keepers Jonathan Bond and Marcus Bettinelli were put through their paces in training on Tuesday.

 


By Nicholas Veevers in Olomouc, Czech Republic