Youth Teams
Youth Teams

England U17s and Newcastle defender Lewis Gibson plans to make family proud at Euros

Tuesday 09 May 2017
Lewis Gibson has been an ever-present for the Young Lions at the Euro Finals so far

Lewis Gibson admits that representing England at the UEFA U17 European Championship is a dream come true.

The Young Lions are through to the quarter finals with a game to spare and will be aiming to top Group D when they take on the Netherlands in Zapresic on Wednesday.

Netherlands v England
  • UEFA European U17 Championship
  • Group D
  • 3pm (BST), Wednesday 10 May 2017
  • Stadium Zapresic, Croatia
  • Live on Eurosport

And left-back Gibson has played the duration of both opening games as England beat Norway 3-1 and Ukraine 4-0 to put themselves into a strong position.

The Newcastle United youngster was a regular for Steve Cooper's group throughout the qualifying campaign but admits the reality didn't hit home until he arrived for the finals in Croatia.

"Everything has been building up to this moment since the start of the season," said the 16-year-old.

"When you arrive, get together as a squad and see those familiar faces then it's just business as usual but when I pulled on that England shirt with my name on the back for the first time then it was just an unbelievable feeling.

"Seeing your name on the back of the shirt is what you dream of as a kid. It's been an unbelievable start for us and we just need to carry this on."

Shirts with 'Gibson 3' on the reverse and Geordie accents are becoming a familiar presence out in Zagreb as the boyhood Toon Army fan has had plenty of backing from the stands.

The defender's mother, cousin and grandparents were in attendance for the comfortable win over Ukraine in Sesvete and the Gibson contingent is likely to swell further for Saturday's quarter final.

"I have to admit that I got a bit emotional when I saw my family in the stand, particularly seeing my grandma and granddad, because I've always wanted to do well for them.

The Young Lions have won two games from two in their Euro group stage so far

"I wanted them to see me play for England and now they've done that. Seeing them in the crowd was nice but when they were getting a bit emotional it soon hit home that I had to focus on the game."

If the Gibson family do remain out in Croatia for the remainder of the tournament, then the 12-cap U17 international expects them to see even more from this promising England squad - starting against the Dutch.

"I think we showed glimpses of how good we are in the first half against Ukraine and we're just getting started. I don't feel we've peaked yet.

"If we continue to keep going forward in this tournament then we're going to have to get better as obviously the competition is going to be a lot higher. I think we're capable of that.

"This is the most together team that I've ever been in. I think as staff and players we're all striving for the same thing and everyone wants to do well for each other."

By Andy Walker Senior Communications Manager in Zagreb, Croatia