Blue Square Bet
Published 25th September 2012
....game of the new season, when they take on Italy under-18s next month.
The match will take place at One Call Stadium on Wednesday, 24th October (7.30pm kick-off).
After being selected for this prestigious match, Stags’ Chief Executive Officer Carolyn Radford said: “We consider it an honour for the Football Association to have selected the One Call Stadium to host this international match.
“This is a proud moment for Mansfield Town Football Club, our supporters and the Town of Mansfield as a whole.
“The match will give local people a rare opportunity to see England’s rising stars and we hope the people of Nottinghamshire and further afield can support this game.” Head Coach Noel Blake will take charge of the Young Lions again this season, in what is a non-competitive age group sandwiched in between UEFA competitions at under-17 and under-19 level.
Last season’s under-17s were unfortunate to miss out on a place in the European Championship Finals, reaching the Elite Round stage but the under-18s matches will give many of those players a chance to continue their international education along with many new players who have emerged to catch the eye this season.
“It’s a massively important age group for us,” revealed Blake.
“We only play two fixtures at this level per season, but it’s an important age group for us because it throws up different situations and allows you to look at some of the late developers in the group along with an opportunity to look at those players from last year’s U17s." “It’s an important age group for us though because it throws up different situations and allows you to look at some of the late developers in the group along with an opportunity to look at those players from last year’s under-17s
In recent seasons, Blake has introduced the likes of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling to international football in his various squads and he insists that the opportunity to earn a call-up is always there.
“The door is always open for players to come in and impress, so the under-18s is a chance to look at some fresh faces and in the last few years we have managed to bring a few players through and then into the under-19s and beyond,” revealed Blake.
“You only have to look at our under-18s two years ago when Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain came into the system against Poland.
“And in this year’s under-19s squad, there are players such as Eric Dier, Jack O’Connell and Jack Stephens who first played in the under-18s fixtures last year and are now in the under-19s squad.”
Tickets are priced at £3 for adults and £1 for concessions, and can be purchased by calling Mansfield Town Football Club’s Ticket line on 01623 482 482.