England U17s set for European Championship kick-off

Wednesday 06 May 2015
John Peacock with Group D's other coaches at the pre-tournament press conference
England head coach John Peacock joined his rival bosses in Group D at the pre-tournament press conference before this afternoon’s Euro kick-off.

The Young Lions take on Italy at 5pm in Burgas, Bulgaria, in their opening European Championship match, with Republic of Ireland squaring off against Holland in the group’s other fixture.

The managers of the four nations faced the media on Wednesday ahead of the showpiece’s start, and here is what they had to say:

Italy v England

UEFA European U17 Championship
Group D
5pm, Thursday 7 May 2015
Lazur, Burgas, Bulgaria
Live on Eurosport

Italy v England, 5pm, Burgas
Italian coach Bruno Tedino was first to face the questioning ahead of his side’s encounter against the Young Lions.

The Azzurrini boss is intrigued to see how his side fair in a group that contains last year’s finalists, the English and Dutch, plus the threat of the Irish.

"It's a big tournament and we're in a group that is very hard," said Tedino. "I'm curious about how competitive we will be against such good teams and players."

Tedino is able to call upon prolific AC Milan marksman Patrick Cutrone in his attack.

The youngster notched seven goals in their qualifying campaign, and Tedino is confident he can produce the goods again in Bulgaria.

"He's used to working with his team-mates and if they play [well] together he will probably score more goals."

Peacock is aiming to win the tournament for a third time

Peacock is aiming to win the tournament for a third time

John Peacock, who has guided England to success in 2010 and 2014, was next to answer.

And after the expansion of the tournament from eight teams to 16, he admitted the task of retaining the trophy will be a “little bit bigger and fierce”.

Peacock guided his side to a 4-3 win over Thursday’s opponents in August, but the experienced coach says the past counts for nothing now.

"It won't have any bearing, that was some nine months ago, and things will have changed.

“At a European finals it's that little bit special and I'm sure it will be a real close game".

Republic of Ireland v Holland, 1pm, Sozopol

Ireland take on Holland in the opening fixture of Group D, and the boss of the Boys in Green Thomas Mohan is feeling the excitement ahead of the showdown.

“My players are in great form and looking forward to it," he told the press.

"Nothing's going to be easy, but it's great to be here – we're delighted the players have this platform to showcase their skills." 

Dutch boss Maarten Stekelenburg is also looking forward to getting the action under way, and he is relishing seeing how this year’s crop of youngsters fare after he guided his side to the Final last season.

"We reached the final last year, but this is a new group," he said. "I'm curious to see how this team does against some of the best in Europe."

England U17s’ opening European Championship match with Italy will be live on Eurosport, kick-off 5pm UK time, on Thursday 7 May.

You can keep updated with all the latest news from the camp in Bulgaria by following @England on Twitter.

By Gary Stonehouse Staff Writer In Pomorie, Bulgaria