Published 05 July 2021 3min read
England Men's Senior Team

Double trouble in the den

Written by:

Tom Dean

Mason Mount and Declan Rice share some words of wisdom for aspiring players looking to emulate their success
Fast becoming one of the most-recognised double acts in the country, Mason Mount and Declan Rice give their top tips for young players hoping to reach the top. 

Best friends since they were eight, Mount and Rice are pretty much inseparable around camp and are living the dream of representing their country together side by side. 

But it’s not a privilege that has been simply gifted to them. The pair worked tirelessly to get the position they’re in now and had some words of wisdom for young players looking to emulate them when they appeared on Monday’s episode of Lions’ Den connected by EE. 

“As a young player coming through, having the focus and the dedication is very important,” said Mount. “Any time you’re not at football, so during the summer when you have time off, if you can train and make yourself better - that’s something I always tried to do. 

“We always had competition between us when we were younger, neither of us wanted to lose, it wasn’t a rivalry but I didn’t want him to beat me so I’d do everything I could to stop that from happening. 

Mount and Rice play their club football for rival London clubs Chelsea and West Ham respectively, so playing together for the national team is something the pair treasure even more. 

“You can never take it for granted either because even now I’m still only young, but time flies by and it’s so important when you’re trying to work hard to make it that you remember to enjoy it as well,” added Rice. “It goes so quick so you need to take every opportunity.”
 
Both players started in the 4-0 victory over Ukraine on Saturday night and will be in line to do the same when England face Denmark at Wembley Stadium connected by EE for a place in the final. 

Neither of the 22 year olds had made their international debuts when the Three Lions reached the 2018 World Cup three years ago but fully understand the significance of the game on Wednesday. 

“Denmark is a massive opportunity for us to create history,” said Rice. "We’d be the first England team since 1966 to play in a final if we get there. 

“To get one step beyond would be unbelievable and I’ve never seen a group of lads that are this focused on the job ahead. I think we’re going to thrive on the opportunity and go out there and do the business.”

There will be an increased capacity of 60,000 inside the national stadium to help cheer the players over the line - a welcome for Mount and the millions watching on at home. 

“There’s a few more thousand going to be there now and I remember last time there was already so many fans there waiting for us, so this is going to be next level now. 

“Those little moments just get you even more hyped up for the game, and as Dec said, we are very focused and ready to perform.” 
DENMARK PREVIEW