Bond 'buzzing' for England's Euro challenge this summer

Wednesday 06 May 2015
Bond started England Under-21s' last game against Germany in March
Jonathan Bond has spoken of his excitement ahead of this summer’s UEFA European U21 Championship Finals in Czech Republic.

The Watford goalkeeper is hoping to be part of Gareth Southgate’s squad in June, as the Three Lions head into the tournament looking for victory.

And that’s a feeling he’s been used to this season, having just won promotion to the Premier League with the Hornets.

England Under-21s goalkeeper Jonathan Bond sings the national anthem.

Bond is planning to keep himself fit for the Euro Finals throughout May

It means Bond is one of the few members of Southgate’s group to have finished their domestic duties for the season and while he’s grateful for the early break, admits he’s already anticipating the Euros and what England hope to achieve.

"I’m buzzing for the whole thing, it’s obviously a massively prestigious tournament and we’ve been thinking about it and talking about it for the best part of two years now," Bond told TheFA.com.

"It’s getting close and the boys that I’ve spoken to are very excited so we’ve just got to make sure we do ourselves justice now and go out there and win the tournament.

"We’ve got to be professional and hopefully we can do a job out there."

For the next few weeks, 21-year-old Bond plans to keep himself fit with regular gym sessions before there is a short training camp in mid-May at St. George’s Park featuring other U21s players from the Championship who also saw their season finish last weekend.

That group will be linking up with the U20s squad for four days at the national football centre as Aidy Boothroyd's team prepare for the Toulon Tournament.

"We have a bit of light training at St. George’s Park and we’ve all got our programmes, but we’ve got a nice little mini-break now which gives you a chance to rest mentally more than anything else," he explained.

England U21s goalkeeper Jonathan Bond in action against Germany.

Bond will be working at St. George's Park for a few days in May to help prepare for the trip to Czech Republic

"I’ll be keeping fit in the gym a couple of times a week as no-one stops completely, but to be able to switch off from going into the training ground everyday is needed.

"And I know we train pretty much everyday throughout the year, but after two weeks without, I’ll probably want to get back training.

"It’s only a four-day spell, but for the boys who have finished in the Championship, it will be good to meet up and start the preparations."

England’s last outing before the full squad meet up again in early June came with a 3-2 victory over Germany at Middlesbrough’s Riverside Stadium in March.

Bond played the full 90 minutes of that encounter, which saw James Ward-Prowse score a memorable late winner to finish off a move which had seen all 11 England players involved. 

"It was a great game for us to play, in front of a great turnout at Boro and playing against one of the best teams from that age group," added the former Bury and Dagenham & Redbridge loanee.

"As we get closer to the Finals, it was a massive confidence-boost for us but it also confirms that we’ve got the quality throughout the team and there’s a really strong belief in the squad.

"The style of play is something that we’ve been working on for the last couple of years since Gareth came in as manager.

Watch the full 35-pass move which led to James Ward-Prowse's goal against Germany

"It’s changed the perspective of English teams and how they play football and we feel like we’ve played some really good football.

"All of the squad are comfortable on the ball and the manager always stresses that we are a good technical team, so hopefully people will start to see that more."

With a number of his Three Lions team-mates currently preparing for Championship play-off games with their clubs, Bond is quite happy to be all finished for the season with promotion already secured.

Although he does admit he would have preferred more first-team appearances this term after spending the majority of the campaign as understudy to the experienced Brazilian, Heurelho Gomes.

"It’s been a great season for us, although personally it’s been a bit disappointing as I’d have wanted more game time," he admitted.

"But we’ve been working towards this for the best part of three years now. 

"The owner had a three-year plan so for it to happen in the third year is great and we have a good team with lots of quality individuals who could play in the Premier League now.

"It was disappointing to miss out on the title to Bournemouth, but promotion was the main goal so we’re happy with that."

By Nicholas Veevers