James Tomkins is getting ready to play an integral part of England's bid to win the 2008 European Under-19 Championship when the finals begin against the host nation Czech Republic on 14 July.
Having kept himself in shape since the end of the season and then stepped up his training after returning to club duty, Tomkins is in good shape for the Young Lions. He said: "I am looking forward to going away with England, it will be a good tournament. But we are not going there to make up the numbers we are going out to win it. We did well in the qualifiers so we are full of confidence."
England coach Brian Eastick named Tomkins and club-mate Freddie Sears in his 18-man selection, with both players having been instrumental in qualifying. It is thought the duo will start when things get under way at 4.30pm London time on Monday. "There have been a few changes to the side but the people coming have done well so there is no reason why we can't do well," Tomkins added. "It is obviously nice to have a club team-mate there in the shape of Freddie but we are a close-knit bunch who all get on well together."
In Group B of the eight-nation tournament, England will also take on Italy on 17 July and Greece on 20 July in Jablonec and Liberec respectively in the hope of reaching the semi-finals. The opening game against the Czechs will be shown live on Eurosport. Group A comprises Spain, Italy, Greece and Hungary.