- Winger Dan Kemp made his international debut in England U20s 1-0 win over Angola at the Toulon Tournament on Monday
- Kemp called the experience "an unbelievable experience and honour"
- He hopes to be involved in England's second group match against Cuba on Thursday evening
West Ham winger Dan Kemp said making his international debut was “an unbelievable experience and an honour” and hopes to feature in England U20s second match at the Toulon Tournament.
The young star played 65 minutes as England beat Angola 1-0 in their opening Group A fixture on Sunday and the Young Lions face Cuba on Thursday knowing that a victory could see them through to the semi-finals.
The appearance was another moment to cherish in a landmark season for Kemp and he spoke of his excitement at pulling on the famous Three Lions jersey.
“It was an unbelievable experience and an honour to make my international debut,” said Kemp. “It’s without doubt the best moment of my career so far.
“Before the game, I was excited and nervous but I couldn’t wait to put the shirt on and play. When the national anthem was playing and I was singing was when it felt real and exciting and when I felt proud that my hard work so far has all been worth it. During the game I felt relaxed and just tried to enjoy the occasion and do the best for the team.
“To start the tournament with a win was massively important for us and all the boys performed well to the challenges that Angola presented. The most important thing was that we got the three points.”
Kemp joined West Ham at the age of 16 after spending the rest of his youth career at Chelsea. With much of the England squad in Toulon featuring Blues’ players, Kemp has had no issues settling in.
It was an unbelievable experience and an honour to make my international debut. It’s without doubt the best moment of my career so far.
“The boys have been great with me,” he observed. “I know about six or seven of them from playing with them over the years for Chelsea and even now when I play against them for West Ham.
“They have been great with me and I have got to know some of the other boys really well. It was important for us all to get to know each other quickly to make us stand the best chance of knowing each other on the pitch.
This year’s crop of England youngsters are aiming to emulate the squad from last season which managed to win the Toulon Tournament overall.
The Young Lions take on Cuba on Thursday with kick-off at 6.30pm BST and Kemp believes the team will head into their second group game full of confidence.
“To start the tournament with a win is the best way obviously. We feel confident now that we can beat anyone and that is what we’re trying to do. Cuba will be a tough game and a game we want to win again to give us the best chance of getting through to the semi-finals. All the boys are looking forward to the game.”