Published 04 July 2021 2 min read
England Men's Senior Team

Sancho: 'The lads are still buzzing'

Written by:

Dom Smith

After helping England into EURO semi-final, Jadon Sancho provides advice for cage footballers

Fresh from his first start of the tournament as England cruised into the semi-finals after beating Ukraine 4-0 in Rome, Jadon Sancho was the latest guest to enter the Lions’ Den connected by EE.

Sancho spoke of his pride to wear the Three Lions on his chest, and how excited the team have been since their comprehensive win at the quarter-final stage.

“It was hard to get to sleep,” he admitted. “It was a great feeling — the lads are still buzzing. Happy to be a part of it. Everyone is over the moon because we know how much it means to the fans.”

Despite travel restrictions for UK-based fans, a limited number of England fans living abroad were able to attend the match and Sancho was impressed by the atmosphere they created at the Stadio Olimpico.

“The scenes were unbelievable," he added. "There were a lot of English fans. When we were on the bus on our way into the stadium, there were loads of English fans. I was surprised. The support was definitely there, and [it was] crazy.”

Sancho spoke to fans via the interactive EE fan wall — which is open to supporters who are members of My England Football.

Edward and Andy from Hampshire asked Sancho what it felts like to represent his country at EURO 2020.

“It’s something that I was dreaming of as a kid, especially putting on the shirt for my family. It’s a really big honour for me. I class myself as lucky, and to be representing England at a major tournament is just a dream come true. I’m just thankful, every opportunity I get." 

Sancho also spoke about how he became competitive at sport and when he learned that young footballers must work hard on skills they’ve not yet polished, in order to improve their game.

“That all started when I was younger,” said Sancho, about becoming competitive and improving his all-round game.

“Me, my dad, and a few of my dad’s friends [were] just going to the park and working on a few things that I wasn’t good at, and [I was] taking it into a game.”

Sancho was asked by Connor from London about his experience of playing football in the cages in south London and how he's evolved his style from small-sided games on hard surface to suit playing eleven-a-side professional football at the very highest level.

“I’ve never changed,” said Sancho, who has 21 England caps. “In the cages, it was all about nutmegging, [skilling] people up, and just taking them on. When I have a one-v-one, I’ve always tried to do the things that I used to do in the cages, and try to perfect it in training.”

He then gave advice for anyone hoping to transfer from playing in cages to becoming a footballer at an academy.

“Keep doing what you’re doing in the cages and try to implement it into the game," he advised.

"There could be a situation where there’s three men around you and then you do a mad skill to just beat all three. It definitely does work, the tight cage skills. Definitely don’t lose it.”

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