Writer: J P Fear
Date:Monday March 26 2007
Gary Cahill made his England U21 debut earning his first international cap at the weekend. What a debut, his first cap and the first match to be played at the new Wembley Stadium! Gabby also featured, as did Ashley Young, although he only got a 2 minute run out at the end. Liam Ridgewell was an unused sub.
Cahill said of the experience, where England drew 3-3 with Italy:
'It was a nice occasion and I have some memorabilia from the day. I was hoping that I would be playing because a few dropped out. I got the full 90 minutes. They were class opposition and the pitch did cut up a bit. When you play in that standard, it is about concentrating. It was difficult in the second half. I thought we were comfortable in the first half. We conceded too many goals for my liking. We should be more solid.'
'We came to train here in the week and had a look around. It is a good stadium and I am just pleased that I played in the first match. It is definitely a highlight of my career so far but now you move on and move forward. It is your club form that gets you into the England Under-21 squad, so that is more important, but it was great to be involved in this.'
'It was good that four Villa players were here. Most of the other clubs have only got two players here. Credit to the Villa staff, who have done a good job. With a bit of time, our youth policy will stand us in good stead.'
I remember being told by one of the people in the youth set up to look out for Cahill. He wasn't being mentioned that much with other names such as Stefan and Luke Moore, Stephen Cooke and Gabby getting the attention, but I was told Cahill was the cream of the crop. Seems he wasn't joking, he looks a top class player, lets hope he is at the centre of Villa's defence for many years to come!
Date:Monday March 26 2007
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