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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

England U-19 To Remember Ray Jones

Tuesday, 11 September 2007.

England v Belarus U19 International Friendly
Meadow Lane, Notts County FC 7.45pm, Tuesday 11 September 2007

England U19s are in action for the first time this season on Tuesday evening, when they face Belarus at Notts County’s Meadow Lane in an international friendly.

As the one and only warm-up game ahead of the two forthcoming qualifying tournaments for next summer’s European U19 Championships in the Czech Republic, it is a match that is being taken seriously by all concerned in the England camp.

Head Coach Brian Eastick and his team will be looking to get their 2007-08 campaign off to a good start with some tough fixtures lined up in the coming months.

Eastick said: “A change in the UEFA rules means that all countries must now enter the competition at this stage, irrespective of their European ranking.

“In effect it means that we must now get through both the Preliminary and Elite Qualifying competitions in order to reach the finals, so Tuesday’s game takes on significant importance with regard to our preparation.”

Not only that, but it is the first match the U19s will have played since the tragic death of striker Ray Jones last month and Head Coach Brian Eastick is keen for the Queens Park Rangers man to be remembered ahead of the game.

Jones picked up a cap for the U19 team in a friendly with the Netherlands at Walsall just over a year ago and was a player tipped to have a bright future in the game.

As a mark of respect for him, a minute’s applause will be held prior to Tuesday’s match and Eastick feels this will be a fitting tribute.

“I had the great pleasure of working with Ray at international level and had watched him play for Queens Park Rangers’ first team,” said Eastick.

“Not only was he a delightful young man, but he was also a very talented player who had a terrific future in front of him, both in professional football and life in general.

“We all get wrapped up in this game that we love so much, but sometimes it takes a tragedy like this to put it all into perspective.

“Everyone who knew and worked with him will remember him with great fondness and appreciation of his abilities as a professional footballer and I am sure that will be reflected in the minute’s applause that will be held.”

Tickets can purchased by contacting the hotline on 0115 9557204 and are priced at £3 for adults in advance (£5 on the night) and £1 for concessions
The FA

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