It's a very exciting time for England fans these days, following a great show in Russia, the up and coming youngsters are playing a major part.
I was in Chesterfield last night, home of the twisted spire, to watch Aidy Boothroyd's u 21s in a UEFA qhalification round contest v Andorra.
Easy you might think, but in the reverse fixture it took a late goal from Tom Davies to beat Francisco Piresin goal for a 1-0 victory.. Well, it finished in a blow out in South Derbyshire to the tune of 7-0 and a place in next summers championships in Italy and San Marino. Ryan Sessegnin of Fulham and Phil Foden of Manchester City were starting in midfield, but it was a thoroughly all round team performance that did the business in front of a young and enthousiastic crowd of over 7,000. The FA does a great job of taking these and the womens fixtures around the country.
Everybody was given a free flag on a stick with the cross of St George on one side and the FA's 3 Lions badge on the reverse. Young voices started the Mexican wave every few minutes for a wonderful atmosphere.
Ademola Lookman of Everton opened the scoring in the 8th minute and Ezri Konsa of Brentford doubled the score 19 minutes later. By half time it was 3-0 from Dominic Calvert-Lewis. He scored the 4th just after the break from the penalty spot. Dominic Solanke and Reiss Nelson scored the 5th and 6th while an own goal gave us a 7-0 thrashing. Before kick-off I shared a cramped and not fit for purpose press room with former huge stars Michael Owen and Owen Hargreaves who were doing TV analysis.
75 minutes earlier at Fylde FC on the West Coast of Lancashire the England u20s kicked off and Paul Simpson's lads beat Italy 2-1. Boothroyd's Young Lions only needed a point to qualify and go to Tynecastle in Edinburgh next Tuesday to take on Scotland. Tonight at Stadion HNK Rikeka the Big Boys take on Croatia in an empty stadium. England lost 2-1 at Wembley to Spain in their opening fixture, while World Cup finalists Croatia were thrashed by Spain 6-0. England play in Seville next Monday against the Spaniards.