Turgott's time to shine

Hammers youngster Blair Turgott is working hard with England in Novi Sad ahead of the start of the UEFA European Under-17 Championship in Serbia.

The Academy attacker - aiming to follow in the footsteps of club-mate Robert Hall who helped England lift the title in Liechtenstein a year ago - was a key man in qualifying for the eight-nation finals, especially playing his part in the Elite round elimination of the ever-strong Spain.

Turgot will hope to feature in Tuesday's opening game against France, which kicks off at 2pm London time, with the Young Lions knowing that if they can at least finish third in their group they will play at the FIFA U17 World Cup in Mexico this June.

Academy Director Tony Carr was delighted that Turgott was following the likes of Hall, Matthias Fanimo, George Moncur (all England), Deniz Mehmet (Turkey), Eoin Wearen, Kieran Sadlier, Danny Purdy (all Republic of Ireland), Seb Lletget (United States) and Dylan Tombides (Australia) in getting age-group international experience this season with their respective nations.

"Blair won't play again for us this season because of his England commitments," Carr said. "But it is great for his experience and it is a vital part of his development. He has got to push on from here and keep improving.

"Next season will be about setting new challenges and giving himself the best chance to push on from the Under-18s into the reserves. Like the others, he will have to keep his feet on the ground and stay focused."

After their opening Group A game against the French, England will meet Denmark in a 2pm match on Friday 6 May - to be televised live on Eurosport - and then take on host nation Serbia at 4.15pm on Monday week, with the top two progressing to the semi-finals.

Turgott was part of a strong England squad named by coach John Peacock, although club-mate Matthias Fanimo missed out because of injury. They had a three-day training camp in Coventry before departing for the tournament.

The semi-finals will be played on Thursday 12 May, with the final being held on Sunday 15 May. All three matches will take place in Novi Sad.