Howes keen to face Holland

West Ham United goalkeeper Sam Howes is keen to impress, if handed the chance, when England Under-17s round off their UEFA European Championship group matches against Holland on Thursday.

The Young Hammer of the Year winner watched from the side-lines as the Young Lions convincingly dispatched hosts Malta 3-0 in their opening match before easing past Turkey 4-1 on Monday.

Howes has found his path to the starting XI blocked by Newcastle United's Freddie Woodman in the first two matches of the tournament, but believes he is ready to play his part if called upon against the Dutch.

"I would have loved to start the two matches, but it's not hard to keep myself motivated at all.

"People will think that it's hard being number two goalkeeper, but I have a very important job.

"I have to keep working and pushing myself to the limits in training, but I have to keep Freddie on his toes as well and support him.

"He's a great goalkeeper and he's proved that out here - keeping a clean sheet against Malta and saving a penalty against Turkey. But I need to keep myself going just in case I get the chance as if I do, I don't want to let anyone down by not being ready. I've got to keep playing my normal game."

John Peacock is the man Howes will need to impress if he is to earn the starting spot for the Young Lions, who have already qualified for the semi-finals ahead of their group finale.

The Netherlands have also won both of their matches meaning the winner of the clash at Hibernians Stadium will progress as group winners. Howes though is just pleased that the squad have secured their place in the semi-finals under the gaze of esteemed members of the Football Association.

"All the lads are excited for the Holland match and the semi-final. I'm loving the experience out here. The whole place, the hotel and its surroundings and the training pitches are first-class. We've really been welcomed by the locals.

"Having Sir Trevor here, someone who has achieved and experienced everything he has, is really good. He's a real West Ham legend, and I can speak to him about the Club too, so it's brilliant that he is out here.

"We have a great squad and staff out here, and with the likes of those three (Dan Ashworth, Gareth Southgate and Sir Trevor Brooking) coming out, it shows that we have all the support we could ask for - we just need to produce the goods on the pitch and give it everything to ensure we leave as winners."

The 16-year-old has enjoyed a remarkable season at Club and international level, picking up the prestigious Young Hammer of the Year award.

Hammers Academy Director Tony Carr MBE selected Howes to receive the award and the young stopper was delighted to pick up such an accolade.

"It was a really proud moment for me. All the support from the staff at West Ham and England has really helped me improve this season and it was an honour to win that award.

"With me still at school doing my GCSEs, winning it over lads in the U18s and U21s is a really big achievement - and it would cap it off perfectly to leave Malta with a winner's medal."