Luca Ashby-Hammond tasted glory with England's Under-18s as they lifted the trophy in the Limoges Tournament. The young ‘keeper featured in all three of England’s victories against Russia, Holland and France.
The Three Lions overcame their semi-final opponents of last years’ Euros – Holland, which was particularly satisfying for Ashby-Hammond.
“It was a very good experience, to win any tournament is always good, especially for England.” He told Fulhamfc.com “It’s always good to beat Holland who knocked us out of the Euros last year, so it was an added bonus.
“Our coach said to us before the Holland game ‘go and try and restore some pride’ after losing on penalties to them in the Euro Under-17s semi-final. We dominated the game and fully deserved our win against them.”
The 17-year-old relished the experience of International duty and performed excellently, keeping two clean sheets in three games.
“Unfortunately, I conceded one goal over the three games, but if you take a step back, that’s not bad going. Two clean sheets over the three games is something I’m very proud of. We got ahead against France, but they equalised with a very good header. At that point, the French crowd got behind them, which made them the toughest test over the tournament and it was pleasing to overcome them.
“I had a few experiences of playing in front of bigger crowds in the Euros, but playing against a crowd who were against us was a different test.”
Not only has he had a good experience with England, but he has broken into the Under-23s team at the Club.
“It is close to first team action in the Under-23s. When we play at the established teams in front of crowds in the Check-A-Trade trophy it is a good test to show us the next level. The team we have here is very good and it will take us a bit of time to hit our stride, we had a poor start last year and went on a good run later. Once we get a few games under our belts we will gel together.
“I have had a few games at that level and been in or around the first team – so I have that taste for that now. I’ve matured as an individual plus I get to know what it’s like at the sharp end.”