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Joel's joy

Man City defender speaks of his honour at leading out Young Lions in U17 World Cup

Tuesday 17 Oct 2017

Vice captain Joel Latibeaudiere has revealed his pride at leading out England in the U17 World Cup.

The Young Lions take on Japan in the round of 16 on Tuesday afternoon, with regular captain Angel Gomes set to take the honour as the knock-out stages get underway.

England v Japan
  • FIFA U17 World Cup
  • Round of 16
  • 3.30pm, Tuesday 17 October
  • Kolkata, India
  • Live on Eurosport

But after taking the title for the first two games when Gomes didn't start, he admits it’s been a real boost for him to take the captain’s armband in India where Steve Cooper’s side won all three of their group games in Kolkata to progress to the knock-out stages.

“Every time I go on the pitch with or without the armband, it’s an honour for me to represent my country,” revealed the Manchester City ace.

“Having the armband is something extra and it’s something that I’ve dreamed about.

“I take great pride in doing it.”

The Doncaster-born defender and his squad-mates have spent the last few days preparing for their latest test against Japan.

And having already faced opposition from the Asian federation in Iraq in their final group game on Saturday, Latibeaudiere feels the Young Lions will be ready.

“We’ve studied Japan and we respect how they play so we know they can score loads of goals,” he revealed.

“We just need to do what we know and try to shut down their strengths but we’re not taking anything for granted."

The FA ;

Cooper’s side are certainly keen to keep their Indian adventure going for longer, having really settled into their Kolkata base over the last two weeks.

With local fans getting behind them and the players immersing themselves into the local community, Latibeaudiere believes every member of the squad will return home richer from the experience.

“The whole experience of coming out here to India has been great,” he said.

“Seeing the different culture, going around to schools and helping out and then playing in front of big crowds.

“The fans have been great and that’s been really good for us as youngsters.”

By Nicholas Veevers