Published 10 June 2021 3 min read
England Men's Senior Team
Reece James' family pride
England defender pays tribute to father as he prepares for first senior tournament with the Three Lions
Reece James is on the cusp of making his major tournament debut with England and when he does, he’ll be fulfilling a long-held dream of his father Nigel.
Nigel James, who coached son Reece from a very young age, gave himself an exceptionally good chance of fathering an England international by also training daughter Lauren up to an elite standard.
At just 21, Reece has already played more than 150 senior club games, winning the Champions League with Chelsea in his most recent outing.
Meanwhile younger sister Lauren is playing in the Barclays Women’s Super League for Manchester United and has been called into senior Lionesses squads, although is yet to make her full debut.
And it looks like Reece will win the race to play tournament football for his country too, further demonstrating the exceptional work his father has done in coaching the pair.
“We always try to get the best out of each other and if I ever get the chance to watch her [Lauren] play, I always tell her where she can get better,” said James.
“To be fair when I play, she doesn’t really have too many criticisms.
“My dad has played a massive part in me getting to where I am and he’s done very well with my sister too.
“You can’t get good at anything without putting in a lot of hours of practice and hard work.”
10 Jun 2021 18:03
Three Lions report for duty
The England squad arrive at their EURO 2020 basecamp and get straight into action on the training pitch
Despite only making his professional debut in 2018, James already has a mountain of tournament football experience under his belt with Chelsea and England at both youth and senior level.
The right-back was part of the squad that won the UEFA U19 EUROs in 2017 alongside Chelsea and England team-mate Mason Mount.
And he feels as though the current senior squad is in a great position to repeat the feat albeit at senior level four years later.
“Now is the best chance we’ve ever had to achieve something big in a tournament because we’ve got so many great players and won so many major honours,” he said.
“I think we have a good enough team to go all the way in this tournament, I don’t see any reason why we can’t.”
SEE REECE'S ENGLAND FOOTBALL PROFILE