England get Euro U19 campaign underway minus an injured Danny Welbeck; Zieler now United’s only representative
Posted by nickogs20 on July 14, 2008
As I write, England are in action against the Czechs in the opening game of the 2008 U19 European Championships, but Danny Welbeck isn’t there in Jablonec with them after an injury forced the 17 year-old striker to withdraw from the squad on the eve of the tournament.
The exact nature of the injury hasn’t been revealed as yet, but while rumours suggest there is no long-term problem, a decision had to be made on Friday regarding the young Mancunian’s availability for the two week tournament with the squad set to depart for the Czech Republic the following day. Clearly it was decided that Danny wouldn’t be able to participate fully and coach Brian Eastick turned to his standby list for a replacement.
Ironically, that replacement was very nearly Danny’s United team-mate (and indeed school-mate) Febian Brandy. Brandy was part of the squad at the U19’s three day training camp last week and was one of two options Eastick deliberated over, the other being Bolton’s Tope Obadeyi.
“Both Tope and Febian Brandy looked very good at the three day training camp we had last week. When Daniel was withdrawn, it was a difficult decision for me who to take between Febian or Tope. I brought Tope in primarily because there is a slight doubt about Daniel Sturridge so if he were to deteriorate in the next two or three days then at least we have a similar type of forward here to come in. But it is nice to have the quality of these players on standby.”
That leaves just one United player as a participant in the tournament, Germany’s Ron-Robert Zieler. The young goalkeeper is competing for the starting role with Energie Cottbus’ Tom Mickel, with Germany kicking off their campaign against Spain this evening (6.30pm BST) in a match that is being screened live on Eurosport.