'I'm trying to make up for lost time,' says U18s hotshot

Thursday 03 Sep 2015
England Under-18s striker Kaylen Hinds
After nearly a season on the sidelines Kaylen Hinds is determined to “make up for lost time” with England Under-18s.

The Arsenal striker arrived in Rotterdam along with his Young Lions team-mates on Tuesday as they prepare to face Holland in the first part of a double-header on Thursday.

In his last appearance for his country he hit a double to down Italy 4-3 last August, the first of which was a spectacular strike, before he was struck down by injury.

Holland v England

U18s Internationals
Thursday 3 and Saturday 5 September 2015
Sportpark t’ Slot, vv Capelle

“It’s been a year since I was last with the squad so it feels really great to be back and I was delighted to get the call up,” he told TheFA.com.

“I had two long-term injuries which kept me out for seven months altogether. 

"It was hard at times but I had a lot of family and friends around me at Arsenal and they really supported me as I tried to get back fit. I had to remain mentally strong too.”

Since his return for the Gunners U21s side he has been back among the goals, and he is looking to continue that run against Holland and secure a place in Neil Dewsnip’s World Cup squad next month.

England U17s 4-3 Italy U17s

“I’m trying to make up for lost time and prove that I’m the same as before, if not better,” he said.

“The World Cup is a massive incentive and hopefully I can do enough on this trip to win a spot and get picked.

“I really want to show Neil what I can do. I’m on a good run at the moment and got another goal at the weekend to follow on from the two I got the week before. I’m 100 per cent back now and I’m feeling confident.”

He is joined by some familiar faces within the England squad. Club-mate Ben Sheaf also received received a call up as did attacking duo Chris Willock and Stephy Mavididi, who both featured for the Young Lions at the Euros in May.

"I watched the Euros when I was at home. It was hard sometimes – obviously I was happy to see the boys out there playing but couldn’t help thinking ‘that could have been me’,” admitted Hinds.

“We all know how each other play so that will help us if we are out on the pitch together. I’ve played with everybody here before though, so that is a big help too.

“I’ve also played against Holland before and know how hard they will be to beat, so we will need to be at our best.”

By Gary Stonehouse Staff Writer In Rotterdam