John Peacock is hoping a large home backing can roar England U17s into the European Championship in Bulgaria this summer.
His Young Lions welcome Norway, Slovenia and Romania to these shores next month for their Elite Round European qualifiers, where a place in the top two in the group of four will seal a spot in this summer’s tournament.
“It’s great to get home advantage for these fixtures, being based at St. George’s Park and playing the games locally is a massive boost for us,” Peacock told TheFA.com. “We have three tough games against Romania, Slovenia and Norway which won’t be easy but if the players play to the best of their ability we have a great chance of qualifying.”
The head coach guided last year’s crop of U17s to glory, winning the Euros in Malta last May – the second time he has managed the feat, having lifted the crown in 2010 also.
And with Burton Albion and Chesterfield playing host to England’s matches, Peacock is hoping three victories in front of a vocal home support will be the first steps on the road to glory again.
“It would be nice to emulate last year by winning it again but we have to qualify for the finals in Bulgaria first and these matches will provide tough tests for our players,” he said.
"Hopefully we can get some good attendances and people will come out and watch these young players of the future. In past games at Burton and Chesterfield we’ve had some strong crowds and the clubs have been fantastic in hosting these fixtures and prompting the matches.
"To win the Elite Round and qualify for the Finals is always tough, but we have reached many semi-finals and finals in the past, so let us hope we can continue our good run of the past several years.”
He added: "We’ve achieved a couple of successes and with a bit of luck, hopefully there will be more to come. We are fortunate in that the clubs are producing some good players which should make us competitive against some tough opposition”
Tickets for England v Norway (Saturday 21 March, ko 3pm) and their final qualifier against Romania (Thursday 26 March, ko 7pm), both held at Burton Albion, are available by calling 01283 565938.
Tickets for the Young Lions clash with Slovenia, which takes place on Monday 23 March (ko 7.30pm) at Chesterfield, are available online at Chesterfield-fc.co.uk/tickets or by calling 01246 488232.
In preparation for the Elite Round, Peacock and the England U17s travel to Portugal next week for the Algarve Tournament, where they will face the hosts, Holland and Germany.