Laurence Maguire captained England C in midweek in the 2-2 draw against Wales C. It was Maguire’s second cap and the defender spoke of how privileged he felt to lead his country out as captain.
He said: “It was a great experience and a massive honour to captain my country. It wasn’t the result we wanted but I thought we performed well on the night.
“It was a proud moment for me, my family and friends. My brother Harry couldn’t be there because he’s on international duty but my mum and dad were there, my other siblings too and my girlfriend. To have everyone there watching me lead out my country was a massive honour."
Joe Rowley won his first England cap in the game after coming on as a substitute and Maguire was pleased to be on the pitch with his team-mate, saying: “I was buzzing when I got the nod that Joe was getting called up.
"He’s done really well these last few weeks and has deserved his chance. It was an honour to be on the same pitch as him, sharing the experience.”
Maguire was also positive about how England C selection can offer opportunities for players at a lower level to play at international level and gain valuable experience.
He said: “You come into the National League and it’s a lot of physicality with big players, but the England C manager, Paul Fairclough, wants us to get the ball down and play. It’s a completely different experience.
“When we got relegated last year, I knew that coming into this season, one of my aims and targets was to try and push myself into the England C squad.
“Now I’ve got my second cap for England but to captain the side was a huge bonus. I’m now looking forward to being back with Chesterfield. Hopefully I can play my part towards the end of the season.”
John Sheridan, who went to the game, believes the experience of playing international football is invaluable for the pair.
He said: “Whether it’s England C, D or E, they’re playing for their country. It's brilliant for Laurence to captain the side and for Rowley to get involved.
“When you’re playing for your country, it is different because you’re playing with people you’re not usually playing with. You’re playing with different ideas of football and formations. They’ll learn from that and learn from playing against good opposition.
“They’re both very young players and hopefully they’re learning from that experience of playing for their country. But it’s also important they focus on trying to get into the team.
"They’re both here next year and they’re both very good young players that I think I can bring on. They’ve got to be focused on being a regular in my team.”