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England U-20s bound for Colorado

July 15, 2011 | 8:47 am No comments
By Shaun Schafer

So, your team’s going to play a tournament in Colombia and you need a place to train. How about Colorado?

Evidently, that is the thinking of the English U-20 team, which departed for the Rocky Mountains today. The U-20s are training for the U-20 World Cup, which opens on July 29.

The Young Lions squad met up in Hertfordshire on Thursday before traveling Friday to spend 10 days in Commerce City using the Colorado Rapids facilities in order to help acclimate to the conditions they will face in South America.

Brian Eastick’s side face their first two World Cup group games against North Korea and Argentina in Medellin, which is about 4,800 feet above sea level. To put that into context, the highest football stadium in England is West Bromwich Albion’s Hawthorns at 550 feet, compared to Denver’s 5,280 feet.

“Having spoken to the sports science people, it’s clear that we need a minimum of about eight days to acclimatise, so we’re going to Colorado for 10 days,” revealed Eastick ahead of the trip.

“The Colorado Rapids Head Coach Gary Smith has been really helpful to us and I’ve been over there to speak to him and do the recce, so we will have some great facilities to work in.

“The altitude in Colombia for our first two games is roughly 1500m above sea level and that is almost exactly the same altitude as Denver, so that’s worked out quite nicely for us.”

After those first two games, it’s back to sea level for the final group match against Mexico in Cartagena, a city on the northern Caribbean coast of Colombia.

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