John Lundstram: England u20’s World Cup Diary

    Everton have five representatives in England’s Under-20 World Cup squad and we’ve got the players themselves reporting from Turkey.

    It’s brilliant to be taking part in a World Cup. We’re buzzing. At the end of the season I had a week off and went to Mexico, it was just a chilled out break really in preparation for this.

    The squad all met up at St. George’s Hall for a few days and then went back there last week when the preparations really started before we came out to Turkey. We had a nice welcome when we landed at Antalya airport too – traditional Turkish dancers were waiting and performed as we arrived!

    We trained for the first time out here yesterday and we’ve had two sessions today.

    It’s roasting! We’re not really used to this weather but it’s nice to get some sun.

    The weather definitely affects training. You’ve got to be drinking fluids all the time, although the games are at night time so they are a bit cooler. At this World Cup they’re trying to have drinks breaks in the first and second half.

    We’ve just been back and forth to the training ground so far but the hotel we are in is really nice. There’s a pool and a bit of a water park with some slides. Other than that there’s not much to do so we are left to our own devices during the free time.

    There is a barber’s shop in the hotel but I don’t think anybody wants any dodgy haircuts!

    I’m sharing a room with Chris Long, another of the Everton lads. He’s a good lad that I know well from our time at the Academy.

    Luke Garbutt got a late call to join us which makes five of us here now. We showed in the Under-21 league that we have a brilliant set-up as we got to the semi-finals, so it’s no surprise we have a few players in this squad.

    It makes it easier having so many of our players here and I know a few of the others from being with England Under-19s, but they are all a nice bunch of lads in any case.

    You’ll always get little groups that stay together on internationals, but us scousers always stick together – even with a few of the Liverpool lads! We obviously know some of them from living around the city. We mix with the others, of course, but you tend to find the scousers are always together.

    There is healthy competition for places in the squad and that’s good for us. It keeps us motivated to do our best in training and when we get chances.

    England Under-21s have received a bit of press lately after they were knocked out of the Euros in Israel. Other people might think there is now pressure on us to perform, but within the camp we don’t feel that. We’ve just got to prove again that we are good enough and we believe we are good enough to go all the way.

    Before our first group game on 23 June, we have a training match against Uruguay on Sunday. It will give us a chance to get used to the weather more as well as playing with each other.

    I’ll let the other lads update you on things over here next week!


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