Tosin Adarabioyo is hoping to step out at a packed Academy Stadium when England u19s host Japan next week.
The EDS defender has been called up to Aidy Boothroyd’s squad for the double header with Holland and Japan alongside club teammate Patrick Roberts, as the u19s continue preparations for next year’s European Championships.
After relishing the experience of playing at the Academy Stadium in a City shirt, Tosin is hoping the same fans will turn out in their numbers to watch the cream of England’s exciting young talent take to the stage against Japan on Sunday afternoon.
“I hope as many people as possible will come down to support us, but to see lots of City fans supporting us in the Academy Stadium would be amazing,” Tosin declared.
“We’ve got a squad full of exciting players who are great to watch, so supporters should enjoy a great game at our stadium.”
Adarabioyo has long been on the radar at St George’s Park, home of the England national team, and has represented his country at u16, u17 and u18 level.
However, this is the first time he’s been named in an u19 squad, and he admits that while he still gets a thrill from being called up at any level, he couldn’t believe his luck when he realised he would get to represent England in his own stadium.
Said Tosin: “I’m delighted to be called up to the u19s squad. It’s always an honour to be called up to play for your country and one you should always accept.
“It’s always good to be able to play at home when you’re playing for the national team, but to be able to do it at your own club’s stadium is really special.
“It will hopefully be a good challenge for me to play against Holland and Japan and I hope we get the wins.”
Although the three points are always the first objective, the young centre back believes Japan will be tricky opponents, and it is the ideal fixture for the squad to test progress ahead of next year’s tournament.
“I think it will be a tough game against Japan,” the 18-year-old asserted.
“Although I don’t know too much about them, the Asian teams we have faced have combined well, worked hard and played really well as a team. It should be a really good challenge for us.”
On a personal level, Adarabioyo is also looking forward to the opportunity to prove himself to Boothroyd and his staff.
Familiar with the other members of the squad after playing alongside them through the England ranks, he is hoping to continue his impressive run of form for club and country in time to earn a coveted spot in the squad for the Championships.
“I know Patrick of course, but I know all the lads from playing for England in the younger age groups,” explained Adarabioyo. “They’re all great lads and we get on really well off the pitch, which makes it really easy to play together.
“I’d like to stay in this squad for the rest of the season, be able to go to the Euros and then hopefully go on and win it. That’s the aim, definitely.
“Although I didn’t play in the qualifiers with the u19s, I don’t feel I have more to prove to stay in the squad. The England staff watch a lot of games, so hopefully I’ve proved to them I’m good enough to be here and if I can carry on performing the way I know I can then hopefully I will get the nod.”
It caps off a fantastic start to the season for the youngster, who signed professional terms upon turning 17 in September 2014 and has been a mainstay with the EDS for the last few months.
He smiled: “I’m loving my football and loving being at City. I love training, I love playing in the matches, and we had a really good win against Chelsea recently which was fantastic – everything is going really well.”