England Under 19s are looking to follow up their European Championships win of 2017 with another one 12 months later.
This summer’s tournament is being held in Finland and Newcastle United’s young attacking midfielder Kelland Watts has received his first international call-up.
The 18 year old Newcastle player (turns 19 in November) played the full game as he made his debut on Tuesday, England coming back to win 3-2 after falling a goal behind early on.
Kelland Watts scored eight goals in 20 appearances for Newcastle’s Academy side last season and despite not getting on the scoresheeet yesterday,
There are two groups of four and the Ukraine and France make up England’s group, whilst Portugal, Italy, Norway and Finland are competing in the other one.
If England beat Ukraine on Friday (game shown live on Sky Sports) they would be all but certain of a semi-final place, before then playing France on Monday in the final group game.
The semi-finals will be played on 26 July before then the final on 29 July.
In charge of the England Under 19s is Paul Simpson, who was Steve McClaren’s assistant when the pair were at Newcastle United.
“This was a really important game for us today.
“We showed character, we played some great football and showed our quality in the way we passed the ball and closed down the opposition.
“That was as hot as I’ve been in any game of football in my long career, so for those players to keep going for as long as they did, it shows an incredible level of determination and pride in wearing an England shirt.
“And remember that we’re still early in pre-season so this is a group of players who have done a week or ten days of training.
“We showed great fitness levels and we looked strong. I accept we came under a little bit of pressure but I think the conditions played a huge part in that.
“It now gives us something to build on in our second game against Ukraine.
“I thought it was a really good advert for UEFA U19 Championship football and I think we deserved to come out on top.”