Afobe targets Euro glory
Gunners youngster keen to restore English pride
By Chris Galea. Last Updated: June 28, 2012 4:31pm
Benik Afobe: Is aiming for European glory with England Under 19s this summer
Arsenal's England U19 international Benik Afobe has set his sights on European glory with the young Three Lions this summer.
Noel Blake's side travel to Estonia for this summer's European Championship with high expectations having eased past Montenegro, Switzerland and Slovenia in qualifying.
The 18-year-old Arsenal starlet netted a crucial late equaliser in May's 1-1 draw with runners-up Montenegro and is expected to play a key role in England's blueprint for success.
Blake's men face Croatia, Serbia and France in the group stage and Afobe is determined to give the nation something to shout about this summer following the senior side's limp exit from Euro 2012.
"I'm really looking forward to the tournament because before the qualifiers I hadn't played for England in a year and a half due to injuries," he told Sky Sports.
"Obviously, any European international tournament is one to relish for every player involved and I'm no different.
"I was out for a long period of time last season and this tournament will provide a perfect platform to show how far I've come and help get me ready for what could be a big season for me personally.
"We believe that we can go out there and win it because we've got a good squad of players and the team spirit is excellent.
"If we can go out there and perform how we know that we can then hopefully we can be the European Champions come July 15."
Spain came out on top last year, beating Czech Republic 3-2 after extra-time in the Romania-hosted tournament, but the pacey striker insists that any of the eight sides travelling to Estonia could lift the trophy.
"Spain's U19's are obviously very good and play in a similar fashion to the Spain we are seeing at Euro 2012," he added.
"The likes of France and Portugal are very good too, but you also can't rule out the likes of Croatia and Serbia because every team at the tournament is going to be really good as there are only eight involved.
"These eight teams are the top eight in Europe, so anyone can win it and we honestly feel that we've got a great chance of coming out on top.
"We've been talking about Croatia a lot because they are our first opponents and we'll take it one game at a time, with Serbia after and then France.
"They will all be difficult games, but if you can't look forward to playing for your country in this type of tournament then you shouldn't be involved."