Freddie ready for finals

Freddie Sears is eager to play his part for the England U19's as they prepare for Monday's European Championship opening fixture against the Czech Republic.

The young West Ham United striker flew out on Friday with team-mate James Tomkins and the rest of the 18-man England squad, after training at the National Football Centre in Burton-on-Trent this week. Sears says he has enjoyed being involved in the England set-up and has been keeping his fitness levels up, even in his spare time.

The 18-year-old was enjoying a few sets of tennis when he spoke about his aims of hitting the target on the international stage next week and said there was a good spirit in the camp. "Training has been really good, it's been mainly about getting our fitness levels up and a bit of football mixed in, but in our spare time, we have been having a few games of tennis between ourselves," said Sears.


"There is a good bunch of lads here, a few new faces and then the rest of the lads who have been in the squad during the summer, so we have had a laugh while still working hard in training." The starting eleven to face the Czechs on Monday will not be revealed until Sunday evening but Sears is raring to go, whatever role he is to play.

"I am just aiming to play my best and score whether I come on as sub or start the game, he said "We are all really confident that we can do well enough to win the tournament, there is good belief in the team that we can go all the way."

Sears is pleased to have team-mate Tomkins with him on the international trip and said he is proving to be a good room-mate. "Tomka's been alright to share with so far," joked Sears "No one has to get up to make a cup of tea because we don't have this in our room! We get on well and we're just really looking forward to playing well for our country."

Following Monday's game, the Young Lions will face Italy and Greece in further Group B games on Thursday and Sunday week respectively. Should England finish in the top two, they will go on to meet one of the two sides that make it through from Group A in the semi-finals on 23 July. That section contains Germany, Spain, Bulgaria and Hungary.