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Roberts: England u19s at CFA will be ‘great occasion’

Patrick Roberts will be in a unique position when England u19s come to City Football Academy on 15 November.

The 18-year old, who made his home City debut against Crystal Palace on Wednesday night, has been a staple in Aidy Boothroyd’s u19s line-up since October 2014 and will be on home turf when England welcome their Japanese counterparts to the Academy Stadium.

It’s an occasion the youngster is relishing after shining for City u19s there in the UEFA Youth League.

“It’s always good to play for your country in England and to play at the club you play at is even better,” Roberts said.

“I know the pitch well and I've played there a number of times this season so it will be a great occasion for myself and the team.

“I'd encourage all football fans in Manchester to come and watch the boys play. We play some fantastic football, we are exciting to watch, score lots of goals and I'm sure the Japan game will be exciting for the fans to come and watch a young England side.”

The friendly will function as part of England’s warm-up to the U19s European Championships which take place in Germany next summer.

This crop of Three Lions talent features many of the players who won the U17s Euros last year and, for that reason, Roberts is confident that Boothroyd’s team can compete in their next major youth tournament.

He reflected: “All the players for England know what it takes to win a major tournament at international level. After winning the U17s Euros in 2014 we have the confidence, belief and talent in the squad, there is no reason why we can't repeat that by winning the U19s Euros in Germany next summer.

“There is such a good team spirit in the camp everyone gets on well with each other. We play FIFA tournaments every day when we are away with England and we have a laugh together which is so important in a team environment.

“Japan will be a very good test, I've had the opportunity to play against a few Japanese teams in the past and they are certainly a developing nation in terms of football. They work hard and are very structured in their play and I'm sure they will make it a tough game for us on the day.”

As for life at City, Roberts declared himself delighted with the start he has made and stated his belief that training with world class stars is making him a better player.

Patrick added: “I'm loving life at City at the moment, I get to train with first-team players such as Sergio Aguero and David Silva every day.

“They are top top people on and off the pitch, they are world class players and training with the first-team has helped me to improve and learn each day which you need to be doing.

“I am just really enjoying my football at the minute.”

Ticket information for the game is available here and tickets can be purchased here: mcfc.co.uk/tickets

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