Chesterfield FC’s B2net Stadium hosts the England v Northern Ireland U16s International on Wednesday (kick-off 7.35pm) and the FA director of football Sir Trevor Brooking has outlined the FA’s philosophy over venues for such games.
He said: “We try and move our teams around the country to not only let them play on some good surfaces and at nice stadiums, but also to try and get good support for the games.
“We also like people around the country to see the different age groups that we have coming through and whenever I speak to people after the games, they’ve always enjoyed it and the way we are trying to play the game.
“There was an excellent crowd at Chesterfield for the U19s game with Germany last season, so we hope to get similar support again and a great atmosphere in which these players can learn and develop.
“These youngsters are just starting on their careers, but we hope that many local coaches, players and volunteers can come and see the skill levels that they have in order to play in schoolboy internationals.
“That’s the benefit of taking it round the country, as it is a chance for people to see where exactly the bar is being placed. We want players to be able to come and play the ball and be comfortable out there.”
England U16s head coach Kenny Swain has named his squad for this season’s Victory Shield opener.
After winning the competition for the last 11 years, Swain will be looking to get off to a good start as well as helping his young side make their first tentative steps in international football.
One rising star who will be guaranteed good support will be Derby County striker Mason Bennett, 15, who comes from Shirebrook.
He has already scored for England U17s against Norway and has been on the first team bench for Derby in an FA Cup game against Shrewsbury Town.
One of the squad, goalkeeper Ashley Gunn (Man City) was part of last season’s Victory Shield group while defender Ashley Brown-Smith (Man City) and local lad Bennett joined Gunn for the Nordic Tournament in Iceland in August.
These three will bring a little bit of experience to the party but for the rest of the players this will be their first taste of life with England.
England are the current holders of the Victory Shield trophy after beating Scotland in the final last season.
Individual tickets for this match are Adults £3 and £1 for everyone else.
Group booking applications for 15 people or more at 50p each can be made in person at Chesterfield Football Club or by downloading the form from the football club’s website www.chesterfield-fc.co.uk and emailing it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Booking forms can also be downloaded for Charter Standard Booking which provide free entry for groups of 25 or more. No telephone orders will be taken for group/charter standard bookings.