England Colleges duo Charlie Wickham and Hamza Semakula met up with their new teammates for the first time, in an England Colleges training camp.
The training camp was held at St George’s Park, and we caught up with the duo, to find out how they got on.
Wickham explained: “I think that it went really well, and I believe that I played quite well, for my first game. I really enjoyed it, it was a great experience and really good fun to be a part of.
“St George’s Park was amazing, and the Hilton hotel where we were staying was really, really nice. While, the pitches that we got to play on were outstanding.
“We also got to visit the first team area as well, which was pretty special. It was just a great experience in general.”
The duo spent the first day training, preparing and getting to know their new teammates at St George’s Park, before playing England Schools on the second day.
Wickham played the majority of the game, as the two sides drew 1-1 on the St George’s Park pitches.
The centre-back continued: “I think that the game went well, and on a personal level, I feel that I done really well.
“I think that I defended well and played out from the back, although I was unfortunate that I picked up a bit of a knock and had to come off towards the end of the game.
“It felt good to finally pull that top on for the first time, it’s a special moment and a special feeling.
“We got to use all of the facilities there at St George’s Park as well. We had a workout in the gym and a little session in the swimming pool there, then there was plenty of training out on the pitches too. The Facilities were really, really good.”
Alongside the Wood under 18’s captain, Semakula was also called up to the Colleges squad. The young midfielder was a second half substitute in the draw against England Schools and was thankful for the opportunity.
On how the camp went, he explained: “On Wednesday we all arrived at the Hilton hotel, and it was a case of checking in and getting into our rooms and settling in.
“We then had a match preview and a bit of a talk from the coaches there. After that, we had a training session and some game time, against the other England sides there.
“The facilities were magnificent. There was a massive sauna/spa, swimming pool, training pitches, yeah it was amazing.
“We drew our game on Thursday against the England Schools side and I came on as a substitute in the second half as a central defensive midfielder, before switching to centre back late on for the final 15 minutes – it was a great experience.
“Honestly, I think that I played well, but yeah, I could have done better and I want to improve.”
Pulling on one of the famous three lions’ shirt is a special moment for any England international, at any level, and Semakula spoke through the emotions that he felt.
He finished: “It felt very special, when you first put on that top you just think ‘wow, yeah, I’ve made it.’ But in reality, you know that there is a lot more work ahead of us and I have still got to strive to be the best I can.
“We are off again at the end of January and I am just buzzing to go out there again, I am just focusing on getting in lots of work here, to make sure that I am ready for it.”