Ledson: ‘Back to business’

Having enjoyed leading England to European U17 Championship glory in May, Ryan Ledson says it’s “back to business” as they prepare for a rematch with Holland.

Neil Dewsnip has 15 of the squad that lifted the trophy in Malta earlier in the year at the Young Lions camp in Leigh.

But as they prepare for a double-header against a Dutch side they defeated on penalties in the Euro Final, Ledson knows it’s time to move on to the next challenge, now at U18 level.

England v Holland

International Match
3pm, Wednesday 3 September 2014
Leigh Sports Village

He said: “It was a great achievement by all the boys but we need to move on now.

“We have two massive games against Holland, who will be looking for a bit of revenge after the Euros, but we want two wins and then we’ll see what the rest of the season has to bring.

“The Dutch are a great side with some top players, but I think the quality in this squad can overcome that.”

The Everton midfielder continued: “It’s been a couple of months now since we’ve seen all the lads, and after we’ve had pre-season with our clubs it’s nice to join up together and see each other and catch up on what’s been going on.

“We are still all the best of mates – there’s a great togetherness in this group. I love coming away with them.

“We have a laugh and a joke, but when it comes down to business we take it seriously.”

Ledson has seen three of his European Championship-winning team-mates move straight up into the U19s squad, and he says the progress his friends are making gives this current squad an extra motivation to push on.

Ryan Ledson lifts the Euro U17 Championship trophy.

Ledson lifted the Euro U17 Championship trophy

“Big Joe Gomez, who was vital in Malta, has gone up to the U19s and deserves his chance up there. It’s the same with Pat [Roberts] and Izzy [Brown] – we all wish them the best of luck.

“To see them moving up, and then you see the likes of Lewis Cook with us playing in the [Leeds United] first-team, it gives great incentive to the rest of us and shows how close we are.

“If we keep working hard we may get our chance this season or next.

“We’ve got a few more fixtures so it should be another good year – but we want to establish ourselves in the U18s now.”

England face the Dutch on Wednesday afternoon behind-closed-doors before travelling to Bury on Friday evening for the second match – and Ledson is looking forward to pulling on the Three Lions so close to his Merseyside roots.

“It’s great to be playing in the north west up near my home, it’s only 25 minutes away. All of my family will be coming down, and it’s nice to have a change of scenery and not do that much travelling,” said the 17-year-old.

“Fans love their football up here, and hopefully we’ll get a good crowd in on Friday to cheer us on.

“I’m really looking forward to Friday night at Bury.”

Tickets are available for Friday’s match at Bury FC. Prices are £3 adults and £1 concessions.