Youth Teams
Youth Teams

Young Lions captain Jay Dasilva prepares to lead England out for latest semi-final

Wednesday 12 Jul 2017
Jay Dasilva has captained the Young Lions to the Euro semi-finals this season

Jay Dasilva leads the Young Lions into another semi-final on Wednesday evening, as England Under-19s take on Czech Republic in Tbilisi.

The Chelsea defender has been a key member of Keith Downing’s team throughout the qualifying campaign and at the Euro Finals over the last two weeks.

England v Czech Republic
  • UEFA European U19 Finals
  • Semi-Final
  • 5pm, Wednesday 12 July 2017
  • Mikheil Meskhi Stadium, Tbilisi
  • Live on Eurosport

And the 19-year-old admits he’s relished the task of captaining his country this season, as the Young Lions follow in the footsteps of the U17s, U20s and U21s in preparing for a last-four clash.

“As captain, you’ve got to be a leader of the team and I feel like I do it quite well and I enjoy it,” revealed the former Luton Town left-back.

“I enjoy the communication side of it, on and off the pitch, and leading the boys into action.

“I’m not exactly the loudest, but I think I’m one of the more experienced guys at club level and in the England set-up as well.

“I get along with everyone, I think everyone respects me and I respect them so if I say anything, everyone listens and we all do it together.

“As a squad, we’re pretty tight and we always have been, even when bringing in new faces, they all fit in right away and we all get along so that’s a key factor in how we play.”

England go into the game having won all three of their group games in convincing fashion against Bulgaria, Netherlands and Germany.

And they’ve spent the last few days focusing on their next opponents, a Czech Republic side who finished in second spot in a group containing Portugal, Sweden and host nation Georgia.

“They’re definitely going to be a strong side to play against,” he added.

Dasilva with his Czech counterpart Ondrej Aaöinka

“We have respect for them, as they’ve got this far and it wasn’t an easy group.

“They look like an organised and well-drilled team so it’s definitely going to be a tough semi-final.

“But seeing the other England teams doing well this summer, it gave us all a big confidence boost and extra motivation to do what they’ve been doing for the youth teams. It’s a great moment right now.”

Another motivation for Dasilva and his squad-mates comes in the shape of winning the competition for his Stamford Bridge team-mate, Trevoh Chalobah.

The defender was forced to fly home on Monday for treatment after picking up an injury in the early stages of Sunday’s win over Germany.

“Trevoh has made a huge contribution to the team so far,” revealed the left-back.

“He’s a big player and a big character that everyone will miss so we’re all motivated a bit more now to do it for Trevoh.”

By Nicholas Veevers