Hotel warm-up for Pearce’s prodigies

ENGLAND’S great hopes for future footballing success enjoyed the perfect warm-up for their triumphant five-nil victory over Iceland - a six day stay in a Suffolk hotel.

The England Under 21s squad stayed at Stoke by Nayland Hotel, Golf & Spa in the run-up to the match at Colchester stadium, using the hotel as their base for training.

Many hotel staff were given tickets to go and watch their decisive victory. The team then headed by coach to watch England play against Spain at Wembley on the Saturday, before flying from Stansted the next day for their match against Belgium.

The 47-strong squad included trainers, physios, video analyst, performance analyst and security and admin staff.

The team trained at Ipswich Town and Colchester Utd and also made good use of the Peake Fitness Technogym gymnasium and pool during their stay.

Many of the team also managed to fit in some golf on one of the hotel’s two championship courses. The team included talented 18 year old Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who plays for Arsenal.

Head coach Stuart Pearce said: “We were thoroughly I impressed by the facilities and the staff at Stoke by Nayland, and would recommend the hotel to any sports team staying in the area.”

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The Football Association selected the hotel to host the team because of its facilities and its track record in accommodating Premiership teams such as Manchester Utd, Arsenal and Chelsea, as well as the England Ladies team.