Justin reflects on ‘surreal’ England U19s experience

Luton defender James Justin
Luton defender James Justin

It’s been a ‘surreal’ experience for young Luton full back James Justin to don the official England training kit after spending large parts of his summer with the England U19 training camp.

The 19-year-old travelled out to Spain with Keith Downing’s side earlier this month, before his second call-up to spend two days at St George’s Park, home of all the England youth and senior teams a week ago.

It’s surreal really when you put the kit on. You see it on Twitter and everyone in their gear, but once you put it on, it’s a great honour.

James Justin

He is back there again this weekend for the final session before the squad is announced for the Euro U19 Championship Finals in Georgia next month, and on his time at the £105m complex in Staffordshire, Justin said: “The facilities are world class, everything’s amazing, the pitches, there are so many of them and they’re all just perfect.

“The hotel’s nice, everything about it is nice, so it was good chance to stay at a top facility. It’s a world of difference, everything about it.

“Even the food there is world class which gives you every chance of improving and being part of a good team.

“The recovery stuff, indoor pools, indoor ice baths that are there all the time, facilities are just everything you want.

“It’s surreal really when you put the kit on. You see it on Twitter and everyone in their gear, but once you put it on, it’s a great honour.”

On just how the squad were put through their paces, Justin continued: “It was mostly tactical work, a bit of conditioning too.

“We had a game against Murcia U21s, when we were in Spain, that was just three 20 minutes each and good to get back in the game situation.

“Then on the last day this week, we had three 15 minutes in an inter game, 10 v 10, which was a good work-out.

“Sometimes it’s hard to show in training what you can do, so you need to get that game environment, show how you much you can affect the team and things like that.”

Justin admitted he had received some good progress reports from Downing too and now hopes to be included in the squad that flies out to the Georgia, adding: “Keith talks to you a lot about things you can improve on, but generally over the two camps it’s been good feedback.

“To even just travel to Georgia and be with the squad would be amazing.”