United quartet bid for Euro glory
Posted by nickogs20 on May 17, 2010
Four United youngsters will be bidding for glory in the unlikely footballing setting of Liechtenstein as the 2010 UEFA U17 European Championships get underway in the Alpine principality this week.
Sam Johnstone, Tom Thorpe and Will Keane make up one-sixth of John Peacock’s 18-man England squad while Paul Pogba is included in the French selection for the annual eight-team tournament to decide the continent’s best national Under-17 side. The competition kicks off tomorrow with all eight countries in action, and the European champions will be crowned on May 30th.
England and France have been kept apart in the group stage draw, so if United’s representatives are to find themselves up against each other it will be in the knockout stages. Pogba’s France have been drawn in a formidable-looking Group A, which comprises four teams that have all won the competition since its inception in 2002 – Spain (2007, 2008), Portugal (2003), Switzerland (2002) and the French (2004). In contrast, England look to perhaps have a slightly more straightforward route to the semi-finals from Group B, which also features 2005 champions Turkey, as well as Greece and the Czech Republic.
Tomorrow’s opening fixtures see Pogba and co. take on Spain at 1730 CET in Vaduz’s Rheinpark Stadium before the English trio look to get their campaign off to the best possible start against the Czech Republic at the same venue later that evening (2030 CET). The rest of the group stage schedule and all the other relevant tournament information can be found on the official UEFA Euro U17 website.