‘I’m not being biased when I say this...’ – Bramble on his week coaching England’s U20s and how Dozzell and Downes did
Titus Bramble says Ipswich Town duo Andre Dozzell and Flynn Downes were stand-out performers at the recent England Under-20 camp.
The Blues’ Under-16 coach was invited by the Football Association to observe training sessions at St George’s Park last week and then sit on the bench for Monday night’s 2-0 win against Germany at Colchester United.
Dozzell played just over an hour of that match, while Downes – a late addition to the squad – was handed a brief cameo.
“They were great,” enthused Bramble. “I’m not being biased when I say that they were, in my honest opinion, in the top five performers over the week.”
Bramble came through the youth ranks as a player at Ipswich before spending 13 successive seasons in the Premier League with like of Newcastle, Wigan and Sunderland.
He follows in the footsteps of Town U18 coach Kieron Dyer in being approached by The FA to help out with England’s U20s this year.
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“It’s a big honour to be asked to represent your country,” said Bramble, who was capped 10 times at England U21 level.
“Some of the training sessions I was really just thinking ‘wow, how is that even possible?’ It’s just a joy to watch some these players and I had to remind myself that I wasn’t just there to enjoy it, but to try and improve them too.
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“They are too young to remember me as a player, but they are aware of the career I had and have been asking me for advice. I can tell them about some of the pitfalls.”
Asked who Town fans should be looking out from the academy, Bramble replied: “I wouldn’t like to name names, because you never know how people will develop, but what I will say is there is a strong crop of young players coming through right now. I am excited about some of the players in the 14s 15s and 16s.”
On his own future, Bramble, who is currently working on his UEFA A License, said: “I wouldn’t like to say where I see myself in the next year or five years. Am I interested in senior coaching or management? At the moment, no. You could be sacked after a few weeks and never get a job again!
“Maybe I’d like to coach the older age groups further down the line. Right now I’m just taking every opportunity to learn.”