Youth Teams
Youth Teams

England U18s to face Czech Republic, Japan and Mexico at UAE Sports Chain Cup

Thursday 14 Mar 2019
England U18s celebrate a goal against Czech Republic earlier this season

England U18s head to Dubai this month, where they will play three games in the UAE Sports Chain Cup.

Neil Dewsnip’s Young Lions will take on Japan, Czech Republic and Mexico and the head coach has named his squad for the trip.

There’s four new faces in the squad, with Fulham’s Cody Drameh and Liverpool’s Rhys Williams named along with keepers Josh Griffiths and George Wickens all in an England squad for the first time while the rest of the group will be looking to continue what’s been a promising campaign so far.

“We have selected a pretty steady squad for these games, with a few new faces,” said Dewsnip.

“We have two goalkeepers who are joining us for the first time in Josh Griffiths and George Wickens along with Cody Drameh and Rhys Williams who are all worthy of an opportunity.

“The U18s is an age group where we can traditionally find one or two late developers and these matches give us the opportunity to view some players in a challenging tournament setting, where the games come very quickly.

“We’re expecting some really good games in Dubai. We rarely play Mexico and Japan, so they’ll be a different cultural football experience for our players.

The U18s celebrate victory at the Limoges Tournament last September

“Mexico are renowned for their clever play in and around the final third while Japan are an excellent possession-based side, so we will have to be at our very best to beat both. We played Czech Republic recently and drew with them, so we’ll be looking to go one better.

“This tournament is a great opportunity for the players who have been with us all season to develop further with us in terms of our playing philosophy.

“It’ll be challenging after a long gap since the last international window, but I’ll be looking for the squad to hit the ground running and pick up straight where they left off in November, winning the Pinatar Tournament.”

With two tournaments victories so far, coming in Limoges last September and then in Spain in November, the U18s have won six of their eight games this season.

That run has included victories over the likes of France and Belgium along with draws against Netherlands in November and Czech Republic in October, although they did win that game after a penalty shootout.

All three of their games will be held at the Sevens Stadium, kicking-off on Wednesday 20 March when they face Japan, before they tackle the Czechs two days later on Friday 22 March.

The final match against Mexico will take place on Sunday 24 March.

The Squad

Goalkeepers: Luca Ashby-Hammond (Fulham), George Wickens (Fulham), Josh Griffiths (West Bromwich Albion)

Defenders: Vontae Daley-Campbell (Arsenal), Dylan Crowe (Ipswich Town), Cody Drameh (Fulham), Ethan Laird (Manchester United), Rhys Wiliams (Liverpool), Edmond-Paris Maghoma (Tottenham Hotspur), Luis Binks (Tottenham Hotspur)

Midfielders: Luke Thomas (Leicester City), James Garner (Manchester United), Clinton Mola (Chelsea), Tommy Doyle (Manchester City), Curtis Jones (Liverpool)

Forwards: Bobby Duncan (Liverpool), Anthony Gordon (Everton), Tyreece John-Jules (Arsenal), Folarin Balogun (Arsenal), Xavier Amaechi (Arsenal)

By Nicholas Veevers