FOOTBALL: Dan revels in new role as England start with a win

4:44pm Wednesday 26th March 2014

By Alex Bysouth

DANIEL Bruce played a part in creating both goals scored by England Schools’ FA’s under 18s team when they beat their Welsh counterparts last week.

The Grange School student made his competitive debut at international level in the Centenary Shield opener at Wrexham’s Racecourse Ground.

After a stalemate in the opening period, Bruce provided a pass for teammate Michael Hampson to score.

His corner was then headed home by Danny Hail five minutes later to secure a 2-1 win.

Bruce, who plays for Congleton Town in the North West Counties League, believes a change to his position on the field after half time helped him to make an impact.

“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 a role later similar to one played by Lionel Messi at Barcelona 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, who lives in Little Leigh near Northwich, admits he was overawed at donning the England jersey, but turns his attention now to the Three Lions’ clash with Republic of Ireland in Bristol this Friday, kick off 7pm.

Their opponents defeated Wales 3-0 in their opening game, only to lose 2-1 against Northern Ireland next time out.

“When we walked out on to the pitch that’s when the nerves hit me,” said Bruce.

“I would be disappointed if I wasn’t starting this week 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 [today] before the match and have a light training session before having a talk.

“The next day 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 final year coaching the England team so we want to win it for him!”

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