Spence gets U19 chance to shine

Young defender Jordan Spence made his first appearance at Under-19 level for England on Sunday having already had a summer to remember.

The centre-back was captain for the U-17 World Cup played between 18 August and 9 September and more than played his part in South Korea as debutants England reached the quarter-finals before losing 4-1 to Germany. En route to the last eight, Spence had the honour of scoring a late winning goal against the might of Brazil - the first time England had beaten their South American rivals in a FIFA tournament.

Spence, still only 17, has since been promoted to the U19 set-up and was an unused substitute in Doncaster on Friday night as England won 5-1 in Doncaster against Iceland. It was the second match of a four-team tournament England are hosting in early qualifying for the 2008 European Under-19 Championship.

He then appeared as an 87th-minute substitute on Sunday as England won 6-0 against Romania in Scunthorpe in front of the Football Association's guest of honour Sir Trevor Brooking. The victory confirmed England's place in next spring's Elite round that will decide the eight teams to contest July's UEFA U19 finals in the Czech Republic. England conclude their group programme against Belgium in Barnsley on Wednesday.