The England U17 World Cup squad are now just hours from taking the field in India for the final against Spain and on the eve of the game we spoke to our very own, Nya Kirby.
The game at Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata will be the final match of a tournament that Nya looks back on with such pride.
“It’s been an amazing tournament, every step of the way and I have learned so much and of course to get to the final has been a great achievement by all involved. We just need now to make that final push and hope we bring the trophy back home.”
From a personal point of a view he will always cherish the moment he fired home the winning penalty in a 5-3 shoot-out victory after a goalless draw against Japan.
Taking in the whole experience will be a memory for a lifetime and of course the quality of opponents they have faced and beaten is also a major part of Nya’s recollections of his time in India.
“It’s been a great experience and to be able to get the opportunity to play against a team like Brazil in a World Cup was something special and of course to score the winning penalty against Japan created a real buzz around the group and was special for me personally.
“There were certainly nerves in front of the biggest crowd I had played in front of but I had confidence in myself. We had worked on penalties in training so I just knew I had to transfer that onto the pitch and luckily it went into the back of the net.”
Steve Cooper's side are aiming to replicate the U20s, who this summer became the first England side since 1966 to win any World Cup and the manager’s message to the youngsters after the final training session before the big day was carry on what you’re doing.
“He told us we need to carry on what we have been doing and it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity so make sure we take it and the main thing he said was to do our best,” revealed Kirby in his exclusive interview with cpfc.co.uk
On Friday morning at the training ground members of the first team squad and manager Roy Hodgson sent their messages of support to Nya and he was delighted to receive their words including some advice from U23s manager, Richard Shaw.
“It was just great to see that support and definitely gave me a boost of confidence to see the messages from the first team players and staff at the training ground. I am buzzing after seeing that.
“Richard is always getting onto me about taking the free kicks so I have just got to make sure I take them and hopefully score.”
The game is being played at the same time as the match against West Ham United and is broadcast live on BBC2 at 3.20pm on Saturday afternoon. Kirby believes this shows how big the game is and also hopes he is part of a winning double for The Eagles on Saturday afternoon.
“It just shows how much of a big game it is and the responsibility of our squad to win the game and bring the trophy home will be such an achievement for the country.
“It certainly sounds good to me when I think I could bring a winners medal home and the club get the points against West Ham -that would be some day.”