Lions ready for Regions Cup

The England Amateur team are full of confidence ahead of their first game in this season’s UEFA Regions Cup against Scotland on Tuesday.

Represented by the Isle of Man League, England play their opening match of the intermediary round in Slovakia’s national training centre against the Scottish East, West and Central League

The UEFA Regions Cup brings together the best amateur teams from around Europe, with the English entry coming from the winners of The FA Inter-League Cup.

UEFA Regions Cup Intermediary Round

England v Scotland
Tuesday 23 Sept
National Training Centre, Slovakia

Germany v England
Thursday 24 Sept

National Training Centre, Slovakia

Slovakia v England
Saturday 27 Sept
National Training Centre, Slovakia

The Isle of Man League, who lifted the crown after victory over the Hertfordshire Senior County League in the Final in May, travel to Slovakia for a four-team mini-group with the top nation joining the seven other group winners in the Finals next June.

Along with Scotland, the Three Lions also face Germany, represented by Wurttemberg, and their Eastern Slovakian hosts.

England finished their preparation for the qualifying tournament with an impressive 1-0 victory over the Republic of Ireland in Dublin last weekend.

It was the second of two games inside three days that the sides had played – the first ended in a narrow 2-1 victory for the Irish.

Following the defeat, Steve Burns’ England side remained largely unchanged – Josh Kelly and Conor Doyle came into the starting eleven after encouraging substitute appearances, while Andrew Crenell came in at right back and Max Thomas in goal were Burns’ only other changes.

The visitors started well and dominated for long periods of the first half and looked dangerous in attack. Ciaran McNulty had a great chance to open the scoring but a well-struck left footed shot was straight at the Irish goalkeeper.

England Amateur away in Republic of Ireland

Action from England’s win

Neat play down the England left led to the decisive goal. Marc Kelly delivered an excellent ball into the feet of centre-forward Kelly who held up play well before switching to Lee Gale on the right wing.

An energetic overlapping run by Crenell created enough space for Gale to whip a delightful ball behind the Irish defence and McNulty, arriving at the back post, bundled the ball home.

England held on, despite the late forays forward from the Irish. Sean Quayle, the England captain, and Jonny Myers at the heart of the defence epitomised the English efforts, while Thomas in goal made two fine saves in stoppage-time.

Beating Ireland, UEFA Regions Cup regulars, will give England great confidence ahead of three tough games in Slovakia. And, according to boss Burns, their four-day preparatory trip to Dublin was learning opportunity for all.

“I’m extremely pleased with the efforts and performance of all involved,” said Burns. “But the sterner tests are still to come as the focus now turns to Slovakia. 

“We must make sure the squad is as prepared as much as possible and ready to meet the challenges they will face with renewed confidence.

“We would like to thank the Irish FA, Home Farm FC, Dunboyne Castle Hotel, St Pats FC and all those in Ireland who made them feel so welcome and helped facilitate such an enjoyable trip.”

After taking on Scotland on Tuesday afternoon (3pm KO), England face Germany on Thursday (11am KO) and then wrap up their Group 2 campaign against Slovakia on Saturday (3pm KO).


The England Squad


Goalkeepers:
Sam Holliday, Max Thomas

Defenders: Stephen Riding, Aaron Hawley,
Andrew Crennell, Sean Quaye,

Midfielders:
Conor Doyle, Marc Kelly,
Frank Jones,
Daniel Bell,
John Myers, Liam Cowin

Forwards:
Ashley Webster, Mark Wolfenden,
Josh Kelly,
Joshua Thomas, Lee Gale,
Ciaran McNulty