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Ben's national service

Posted on 11 October 2001  - 12:00

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

Under-19 starlet Ben Bowditch played two friendly games for England under-19s last week with mixed success.

Ben was selected in a central midfield position for games against Iceland and Russia at York and Barnsley respectively. England enjoyed a comfortable 2-0 victory over Iceland, but suffered a single goal defeat to the Russians.

The games were in preparation for UEFA qualifying games against Hungary and Georgia at the same grounds on the 7th and 11th of November.

"I did alright," reflected Ben. "I played at number four in midfield, a central holding role.

"We had a poor start against Russia. The first 20 minutes was poor and they got on top of us. They scored and the rest of the half was bad for us.

"The second half we got better, created chances but couldn't score. They defended well and it ended up 1-0.

"I came off after 70 minutes for the same player in both games so the management could look at everyone, they were looking at different people in different positions.

"We've got European qualifiers against Hungary and Georgia coming up so it was like a dress rehearsal for that.

"They are qualifiers for the preliminary rounds - it is a bit complicated at this level. If we win that we go into a preliminary round, if successful we go into another little round and if we win that we go into the big one, the finals in April-June time."

So does Ben, 17, know what to expect when the serious stuff starts next month?

"I played Hungary twice last year for the under-16s and we beat them both times. They were strong physically, weren't that strong technically, but run you about a bit.

"So we're going to expect them to be quite strong and fit - both games aren't going to be easy at all."