A record five Boreham Wood PASE Academy, and Barnet & Southgate college students, made their way to St George’s Park today, to join up with the rest of the England Colleges squad, and we spoke to all five, following their call ups.
The Academy players chosen were Cheyce Grant, Archie Pepper, Dan Creese, Alex Morgan and Iliman Ndiaye, who had all made it into squad following a series of successful trials.
On the accolade, Archie Pepper said: “It is a major honour and I couldn’t have done it without the help of everyone at Boreham Wood and I am grateful to have been given the opportunity.
“As a boy, you dream of pulling on the England shirt when you play football, whether it be at College level or International level, it is always an ambition.
“There were two trials, phase one and phase two, with 250 kids to start with, and by the end of the second trial, they had narrowed it down to 24.
“I think that with five of us in the squad, it is a decent reward for the club, with me, Iliman, Dan, Alex and Cheyce, so it’s going to be a good trip,” he concluded.
The training is hosted at the famous St George’s Park, the home of the English FA’s national football centre. They will all stay the night and then play against the Independent Schools FA tomorrow.
Forward, Alex Morgan, spoke of the quality of player at the trials: “I am very excited, I thought that the trials were hard and that all of the boys had to work hard to get into the squad, so I am very excited that all five of us got in.
“My parents will be very pleased and happy for me. I remember when I was younger, just thinking of ever playing with the England shirt on, and now it is possibly going to happen.”
Boreham Wood’s Under 18s have been in excellent form so far, this campaign, winning all 10 of their Southern Counties Floodlit League matches.
But, just as importantly, the five lads are also all performing excellently in their studies at Barnet & Southgate college.
Wood’s top young goal scorer Dan Creese, spoke of the feeling of achievement: “It is obviously one of the best things that can happen to a player, to represent your country at such a high level, and you can’t be anything but proud.
“It is the highest point in any young player’s career, to be chosen for your country, and if selected to play, I’ll give it my best shot.”
The five players will now be looking to use the England experience to help them push on in their careers, and winger/wing-back Cheyce Grant echoed this: “I am very excited and it is a very good opportunity, to play on an international stage, albeit at College level, and I can’t wait to get my chance.
“The trials were pretty tough, and there were boys from all over the country, but I think that I done well, because the standard was very high.
“I wasn’t too sure whether I would make it or not, but I felt I had performed, and had done enough to get through. Playing at College international level, will I hope, help me to push on at the club.”
Iliman Ndiaye explained how he believes the experience will help him to push on at the club, and when training with the Boreham Wood first team.
He said: “I am very happy to have been selected to play for the England colleges team and it is a great opportunity to Improve. When growing up, you dream of playing at a high standard of football, and with some of the best players of your age around.
“I can use the experiences when training with the first team, to improve me and help to kick on. I want to make sure that I show myself in a positive light, when playing for England and I hope to do Boreham Wood, and everyone at the club who have helped me, proud.”
Everyone at both Boreham Wood and Barnet & Southgate College would like to wish Grant, Pepper, Creese, Morgan, Ndiaye and the England Colleges team all the best.