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Proud moment for Academy

Posted on 11 October 2009  - 12:00

John McDermott says the Academy can take great pride from having four players in the England Under-19 squad.

Proud moment for Academy

John McDermott says the Academy can take great pride from having four players in the England Under-19 squad.

Steven Caulker, Ryan Mason, Dean Parrett and Adam Smith are with the Three Lions for the first qualifying round of UEFA European U19 Championship in Slovenia.

They take on hosts Slovenia, Slovakia and Finland aiming for a place in the top two of the group to qualify for the championship's Elite round.

The opener is against Finland today (Friday, October 9) with Slovenia on Sunday and Slovakia next Wednesday, October 14.

Academy Manager John said: "It's great to have the four players in the England squad and that's testament to the loan system.

"Steven and Ryan have done well alongside Jon Obika at Yeovil, Dean's recently gone to Aldershot and played his first 90 minutes (of league football) on Saturday and he's really proud about that.

"Adam has had five league starts for Wycombe this season and we'll be looking for him to get back out on loan, although I'm sure he would have taken five league starts as an 18-year-old at the start of the season.

"All four players have been to a number of tournaments with Spurs, they have been successful, they know what it takes to win tournaments and I think they are well-prepared for it.

"Hopefully they will all play and they will all be good assets for England."

Andros Townsend was on the squad's stand-by list and with Paul McBride with the Republic of Ireland Under-18 squad next week and Jon Obika just back from representing England at the Under-20 World Cup in Egypt, our Academy is certainly being recognised on the international stage.

John knows better than most the benefits of these international tournaments having been an FA National Coach where he worked with age groups 17-21.

"You get six, seven or eight weeks of experience all wrapped up into a few days," he explained.

"The lads are up against top-class opposition and there is also the pressure of having to qualify, so they are almost in a semi-final atmosphere straight away. It's a great experience for them."

UEFA EUROPEAN UNDER-19 CHAMPIONSHIP

The qualifying round is made up of 13 groups of four teams playing in one-venue mini-tournaments.

The top two from each progress alongside the two third-placed teams with the best record against the top pair in their group.

In the Elite round, played in the spring, those 28 qualifiers compete in seven mini-tournament groups of four.

The group winners then join the hosts in the finals in July, and are split into two groups of four, with the top two progressing to the semi-finals and ultimately the final.

ACADEMY FIXTURE CHANGE

Our Premier Academy League home match with Watford, originally scheduled for Saturday October 3, will now take place on Friday October 23, kick off 11am.

The kick off time for our home match with Birmingahm City on Saturday October 17 has now changed from 11am to 12 noon.

CLICK HERE for our Academy fixture list in full...