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Ifil back from national service

Posted on 22 December 2003  - 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).

Philip Ifil feels he gave a good account of himself in England's under-20 World Championship campaign in the UAE.

The just-turned 17-year-old, who was England's youngest participant, started the second Group D game against Egypt and won praise from England coach Les Reed.

"I did alright, I played in one of the three games - the middle one against Egypt," reports Phil, now back at Spurs Lodge. "The first game we lost 1-0 to Japan and I wasn't involved in that. We got a 0-0 draw against Colombia in the last match.

"We were quite unlucky out there to be honest, we didn't get the rub of the green, but personally I think it went well.

"I played the full 90 in my game and the manager said I did well for a debut - so it was good."

England recording a single point from their three group games might not suggest a budding crop of Premiership prospects in the offing, but the non-availability of older players from the under-20 age group already playing senior football made them the youngest team in the tournament - one used to gain experience and assist development of younger boys.

"Some of the countries take it really seriously," added Phil. "For England it is about development, that is the way they see it. We have a rotation system and change the team every game, whereas other teams often played the same eleven every game.

"We had the youngest team out there and it was a good experience for all the lads.

"Dubai is a beautiful place and it was nice to be away from home for a little while - you get a break from the surroundings you are always in. Sometimes it is good to get away and come back fresh again.

"I'm going to enjoy the Christmas period now, then come back and try and get in the reserve team again."