Howes enjoying Young Lions run of form

England U18 Sam Howes is confident ahead of their double-header with Russia
West Ham United goalkeeper Sam Howes is relishing the prospect of playing in the England U18’s double header against Russia. 

The Young Lions travel to Moscow this weekend to play their European counterparts in two friendlies as they prepare for their U19 qualifying campaign next term. 

Speaking ahead of the trip an excited Howes said: “I’ve never played Russia before but we’re expecting them to be good. We’re going out there to try and beat them, they haven’t lost for a while at home so it’ll be difficult but we’re up for it. 

“I’ve been in the England system for two years now so I’m well used to travelling all over the place. Every boy dreams of playing for your country. At any age level it’s always a proud achievement.

“The feeling when you pull the England top on will never ware off no matter how many times I play. It’s a sign that you’re one of the best in the country, I’m sure if you spoke to any of the lads they would say exactly the same thing.”

While Russia will be prove tough opposition, the Young Lions are in good form themselves having won their last four games, including a 6-1 demolition of Switzerland in March.  

“There’s definitely a good buzz about the England youth set up at the moment. The U17s qualified for the World Cup and we’ve had some success winning the Euros this time last year. 

“It’s a good time for English football with a lot of talented players coming through. In the England U18 squad there a several stand out players. Dom Solanke is a great player, Izzy Brown and a few others. 

“As a team I think we’ve got a lot of talented players which has probably made this team so successful. There’s a phenomenal bond within the team, stemming from winning the tournament last year. I think that is key to any team and helps to get the best out of us.” 

Having enjoyed an impressive twelve months in a claret and blue shirt which saw Howes make his first team debut in pre-season, the 17-year-old went on to enjoy a good run of form for both the U18s and Development Squad.    

“It’s been a long season for me personally but I’m not complaining. It’s all good life experiences which will help me to develop. Overall, I’d say it’s been successful, there’s been ups and downs but that’s football really. I’ve always enjoyed it at West Ham and I hope that continues. 

“With the team qualifying for the Europa League it’s an earlier start to the season, but it’ll be another good experience. Hopefully I’ll be involved in some way.  

“I can’t thank Sam Allardyce enough for giving me an opportunity with the first team. He helped me a lot to develop as a player and as a person. But with a new manager coming in, it’s a new slate for everyone and we have to try and impress him. 

“It’s an interesting and exciting time for everyone involved with the Club. There’s a lot of change going on but it’s a bright time.”