International football returns to Chesterfield tomorrow night, when England U17s host Portugal in a friendly match at the Proact (7pm). It won’t be the first time that we’ve hosted an international fixture and here we look back at how the previous games unfolded and some of the now household names who featured………
England U19 vs Germany U19s (February 8, 2011) Friendly
The first international match at the Proact saw England U19s fall to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Germany, in front of a crowd of 9,141 fans.
Denis Thomalla scored the goal for the Germans in a side which featured a future Champions League winner, Barcelona’s Marc-Andre ter Stegen played the second half after replacing Bayer Leverkusen shot stopper Bernd Leno.
Current Arsenal defender Shkodran Mustafi started the game and Huddersfield attacker Elias Kachunga came off the bench for Germany.
England’s side featured several players who would go onto feature in the Premier League.
Among them were Crystal Palace winger Wilfred Zaha (he would eventually choose to represent Ivory Coast at senior level), Huddersfield Town’s Tom Ince, Stoke City’s Saido Berahino and Everton’s Luke Garbutt.
Derby County’s George Thorne and Wolves’ Connor Coady – who captained the side - also played for the Young Lions.
England U17s vs Turkey U17s (March 24, 2016) European Championships Qualifier
The most recent encounter saw the England emerge 3-1 winners over their Turkish counterparts, in a game that saw the Young Lions take a giant step towards qualification for the European Championships.
Arsenal starlet Reiss Nelson - who has since gone on to make his debut for the Gunners first team - scored twice. Johnathon Leko of West Bromwich Albion scored the other goal. Fulham’s highly rated full back Ryan Sessengon also featured.
England U17s vs Slovenia U17s (March 23, 2015) European Championships Qualifier
A year earlier another 3-1 victory secured England’s entry to the 2016 U17 European Championships.
West Ham product and captain for the Young Lions, Reece Oxford gave England the lead. The following season Oxford would go on to become the second youngest Premier League debutant, when he played against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium in a 2-0 win for the Hammers.
Nathan Holland and an own goal secured England’s safe passage to the Championships in a match that Everton midfielder Tom Davies played the full 90 minutes.
Women’s U17 European Championships Finals 2014
Back in 2014, the Proact was one of four English Football League grounds chosen to stage the Women’s U17 European Championships finals.
We hosted four games in total, including England’s 2-1 win over Austria. Arsenal’s Chloe Kelly and Leah Cathrine Williamson played in a tournament which would see England finish fourth.
The Proact also hosted the final between Germany and Spain, who knocked out Italy and England respectively in the semi-finals. The final itself was a tight game, Barcelona’s Patricia Guifarro gave Spain the lead before Isabella Hartig equalised for the Germans. The final was eventually settled by a penalty shootout which – perhaps unsurprisingly – the Germans won 3-1 and subsequently crowned European Champions.
Tomorrow night’s match will surely see more stars of the future in action, so don’t miss out!
Tickets are still available for the match, priced at £3 adults and £1.50 concessions, though with a big crowd once again expected fans are advised to purchase them in advance.