Published:September 30, 2017 10:25 pm
England will play New Zealand in a practice game here tomorrow ahead of the FIFA U-17 World Cup, which commences on October 6.
England, who are playing their group matches in Kolkata, have chosen Mumbai as their training base.
Asked about it, England coach Steve Cooper said, “Mumbai will lead us nicely to Kolkata where we will be playing in the main tournament.”
Cooper said his focus was on the long term and not just the FIFA U-17 World Cup.
“There is no doubt that we’re in a good moment but our idea is to work towards long term. Our junior programme has been very successful. Our19s and the 20s were very successful.
We want the players to be playing that it allows us to be successful in the tournament that we are entering. But it is always the idea of building towards long term,” the England coach told reporters here today.
“We continue to produce outstanding players in England and we have worked towards that goal and things will take the course of action,” he said.
Recently, there has been debate over clubs not allowing their players play for the national teams.
But Cooper said the scenario was different in England and they have good relationship with the clubs.
“We have an excellent relationship with the club and that is something that both side have worked really hard at. The clubs see the value of players playing international football and the opportunities that it can offer.
“We in England are in a good place as far as club vs national team is concerned and something we want to continue to work at. The most important thing is for that players benefit. It is for the long term and it is important that we keep the good relationships going,” he said.
New Zealand coach Daniel Hay said they will find out more about their players after tomorrow’s game.
“The game against Brazil was the first time our players played against world class opposition, world class team. They (England) had a wonderful qualifying campaign.
“We know that we are going to be challenged and we are going to find out more about our players leading into the first game at the World Cup,” he said.
In their last practise match, New Zealand were outclassed 1-2 by Brazil here. After tomorrow, the action shifts from Mumbai Football Arena to D Y Patil Stadium, which will host the first match on October 6.