Collison: International football will benefit West Ham youngsters
West Ham United’s lead U14/U16 coach Jack Collison says the Club’s young players will benefit from playing for their respective national teams.
Premier League 2 players Domingos Quina, Martin Samuelsen and Conor Coventry, as well as U18 regulars Rihards Matrevics, Jeremy Ngakia and Ajibola Alese and schoolboys Serine Sanneh and Daniel Jinadu are all in line for call-ups for international fixtures in March and April.
With opposition ranging from Brazil to Kosovo, former Wales international Collison believes playing against players and teams with different tactics and playing styles can only aid the West Ham youngsters.
“A number of our players will be hoping to be called into their respective international teams’ camps next week, during the break, which will provide them with great opportunities to further their development,” said Collison, who was capped 15 times by the Dragons at senior level and also featured seven times for the U21s.
“The chance to play for your country at this young age is a real testament to their efforts, and the lads will need to be prepared to come up against different formations, different styles of playing football, and even different pressures.
“The pressure of wearing an international shirt is something every young player dreams of and I’m sure the lads involved will give the best possible account of themselves.”
While many call-ups are still at the provisional stage, West Ham could have as many as eleven players involved in age-group internationals.
Declan Rice, Josh Cullen (both Republic of Ireland), Edimilson Fernandes (Switzerland) and Samuelsen (Norway) are set for U21 duty in UEFA European Championship qualifiers, while Ngakia could be involved in DR Congo’s Africa U20 Cup of Nations qualifiers with Tanzania.
Quina (Portugal), Coventry (Republic of Ireland) and Matrevics (Latvia) are all set for UEFA European U19 Championship qualifiers.
Alese’s England U17s face a friendly double-header with Brazil, while goalkeepers Sanneh and Jinadu could be involved in the Montaigu Tournament in France with England U16s.