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Published 17 June 2023 4 min read
England Men's Senior Team

Levi Colwill reflects on his 'dream come true' week with England

Written by:

Matt Dodd

As he returns to the England MU21s squad, Levi Colwill caught up with to reflect on his recent experience with the men’s senior team

So Levi, how do you reflect on the last week? A good experience?

Definitely, it’s been amazing. It feels like, to me, a reward for all the hard work, not even just the hard work I have put in this season but my whole career so far. It just makes me want to keep going, keep pushing, keep playing well and hopefully I will be back here.

What was it like when you got the call?

We had an under-21 game last Saturday. The gaffer, Gareth, came up to me and said with Lewis Dunk dropping out he wants me to come and train. Then, I only had a day turnaround and was back at St George’s Park and trained Monday. I think that was a good thing, it gave me less time to think about it. I just did it and I’ve really enjoyed it so far

Does it make easier with you know the surroundings already?

It comes down to comfort. I think that is big for me. The players are great players too, so they eased me in. Being at St. George’s and knowing a few players here, it helped me out so much and helped me to just be myself.

After the season you’ve had, this is what you’ve worked so hard for?

Exactly that. Of course, there’s going to be ups and downs. But I think this week is the biggest reward. As a kid, this is what you dream of. This is the highest level - world class players, the best players. It’s like a dream come true.
Colwill knew a few familiar faces in the senior squad, such as his Chelsea and former MU21s teammate Conor Gallagher
Colwill knew a few familiar faces in the senior squad, such as his Chelsea and former MU21s teammate Conor Gallagher

Did you know any of the lads before?

I knew Marc [Guehi] and Conor [Gallagher] from the Chelsea academy and being in the MU21s. That was about it. They have helped me a lot and eased me in.

And how have the senior players been?

They’ve been amazing with me. I didn’t expect it to be honest. Coming in and just everyone having conversations with me, asking me questions. It’s helped so much for me to be myself and play the best football, and also grow because seeing how the best players in the world act on a day-to-day basis is helping me to evolve as a person, and also as a player. I am forever grateful.

What about off the pitch, once the training’s finished?

It is everything. Off the pitch, even when we are eating. Players will come down and just sit with you. On the pitch, if you need help, you can always ask questions. It has helped me so much.

Have you had much chance to speak to Gareth?

Definitely, whenever I needed anything, I could always go to him. That’s what I have learnt. He is a good person and I think that helps so much as a young player coming through. It gives you that confidence to be yourself. If you have any questions, you can always go and ask him. It is the perfect environment that he has created.

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And the week ended by travelling with the squad to Malta too. How was that experience?

It was enjoyable. Just seeing how the players act before the game. Like I said already, it makes me look up to them. That’s how I want to act when I grow up, or in a few years’ time. It gives me something to aim for.

What did you think of the travelling fans out there?

I have never seen that in an international. That surprised me. The fans were amazing as they always are.

EURO 2024 starts in a year, but you now rejoin the MU21s in Georgia for the U21 EUROs this week, so how are you approaching that?

That is my main aim right now, the U21s. We have a great squad, and we have great players. And I think we have a big chance to do well in the tournament. That’s how we all need to think as players. This is an opportunity to showcase ourselves and show what we are about. It will be a brilliant tournament.

It’s a big stage for you to impress again, especially with Gareth and Steve Holland heading out for the group stage.

100 per cent. Everyone is going to be watching. For our age group, it’s the biggest tournament. There will be loads of people will be watching and it is the perfect time to put your stamp down. It will be a special tournament with great players, not only for us, but also for other teams too so it is going to be very competitive. I hope we do well.
Colwill quickly settled into the senior set-up, on the back of a strong season on loan with Brighton & Hove Albion
Colwill quickly settled into the senior set-up, on the back of a strong season on loan with Brighton & Hove Albion
Of course, there’s no shortage of experience among the MU21s’ coaching staff. How have they been this season?

Obviously, they are all ex-players, their experienced themselves, so just being able to talk to them on a personal level and as former players helps a lot. They can give you the advice they think you need and you just take it all in. It is only going to help you. As a defender, having Ash [Cole] and Joleon [Lescott], they help me so much. I can always go to them at any time and ask anything. They are open with me. If I have played well, they tell me. If I can improve, they tell me. I really appreciate those relationships.

And there’s a few players in there who will be hoping to move up to the seniors in the near future.

That is everyone’s aim. It should be. We want players challenging all the time. The U21s has a great squad and every player should be looking at the seniors and thinking I want to be in that next camp. That mentality is what you need to have.