WARRINGTON Town youngster Daniel Bruce had a hand in both goals for England Schools’ boys under 18s when they beat Wales 2-1 in their Victory Shield opener.
Bruce was making his competitive debut for the side and, after a goalless first half, slid teammate Michael Hampson in to score before seeing his corner headed home for the winner.
And the teenager believes being given the ‘Messi’ role after the break allowed him to impact the game.
“I was on the right wing in the first half and didn’t play well or get into the game,” he said. “I went into the Messi role after half time and didn’t stop running.
“When I set up the first goal we went mental celebrating in the corner, but then Wales equalised from a penalty.
“About three minutes later I whipped in a corner and the lad who conceded the penalty met it and scored.”
Bruce admits he was slightly overawed at donning the England jersey, but his attention is now switched to the Three Lions’ clash with Republic of Ireland in Bristol tomorrow, Friday.
“When we walked out on to the pitch that’s when the nerves hit me. We were walking around and taking photos,” he added.
“I would be disappointed if I wasn’t starting against Ireland as the manager said he felt I was a key player and I think I proved I can create stuff in the final third. I played the 90 minutes and after a poor first half was elated with the second half.
“We go to a hotel on Thursday before the match and have a light structure training session before having a talk.
“On Friday we get a spa session and have a team meeting with the manager, then go to our rooms and relax before the game.
“It’s the manager’s last year of coaching the England team so we really want to win it for him!”