James Tomkins and Freddie Sears have been named in the provisional 23-man England squad for the European Under-19 Championship in the Czech Republic.
The selection will eventually be cut to 18 players before the 14-26 July tournament but both Tomkins and Sears can be optimistic about their inclusion after playing key roles as the Young Lions secured their place in the eight-team finals. In a qualifying mini-tournament held in Belarus last month, Tomkins helped England keep three clean sheets and Sears scored two goals to finish as top scorer. The pair will join up with the rest of Brian Eastick's squad at a special training camp at the National Football Centre in Burton.
Homegrown central defender Tomkins has high hopes that England can go all the way, even though England have been drawn in a tough group with the hosts, who they face in the opening match in Jablonec. They then play Italy three days later in the same venue before taking on Greece in Liberec on 20 July. The other four-team section includes Spain, Germany, Hungary and Bulgaria.
The 19-year-old is full of confidence after both he and Sears made their first-team breakthroughs in the 2007/08 campaign and also has plenty of faith in his international colleagues. "We are going to go out there to win it, I don't see why we can't. Especially after the way we played in Belarus. We are going to go to the Czech Republic with full confidence that we can win this tournament. I am really looking forward to it."