3rd Dec, 2016

Sky Blues fans begin their adventure in France ahead of England's Euro 2016 group opener against Russia

Coventry Editorial 10th Jun, 2016 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

ANOTHER major competition will see plenty of Sky Blues fans make the trip over to France to watch England look to send 50 years of hurt in the European Championships.

The Observer will be keeping close tabs on a group of City season tickets holders who have tickets for every game should Roy Hodgson’s side make it all the way.

Carl Foster, Sean Teeling and Darren Batchelor set off on their French adventure this morning (Thursday) and will be proving Observer readers with a weekly diary of events and pictures from across the English Channel.


The lads pose for a photo before jetting off from Birmingham airport. (s)

“There is a real buzz around the country at the moment and I think everyone is really looking forward to this tournament,” said Carl, who will be attending his second tournament watching England.

“I was in Coventry town centre recently changing some Euros and the woman behind the counter asked where I was going, I told her I was going to France and she got really excited.

“I think the reason why is because this is a fresh squad. It’s the best England team I think we’ve had in a long time so people are starting to believe we can win it – I certainly think we can.

Warm-up games

“England got a lot of criticism after the three warm-up games, with people saying they didn’t play well but I don’t take much notice of that.

“For me those games before the tournament are more about finding out about formations and tactics.

“Someone said to me after that England played rubbish against Portugal who had ten men for most of the match, but I asked back ‘what was the score?’ We won the game 1-0 and that’s all that matters.

“I don’t care how we play in France as long as we win.

Preparation

“It has been very difficult to get everything booked up because you don’t know where England are going to be playing until the groups are drawn in December.

“Once we found it was then a case of booking everything up as quickly as possible because the prices soon shot up.

“But it’s come round so fast. I can’t explain it. I remember six years ago and thinking about how I just wanted to get to France.

“I’ve been to every single England game in recent years and I love following England home and away, so France was just the next place on the list.

“Whenever we go and watch England there is always a group of Sky Blues fans who meet up. I’d say there is noramlly around 20 a game and we love representing the club abroad and wearing our Coventry colours.

“This tournament is all the more special because it’s in France and I think that’s why more people are interested in going. I know people that are going who haven’t even been to Wembley, or even to a football game for that matter.

“I know a lot of people are going from Coventry and I think with the Republic of Ireland playing over here too they’ll be lots of people back home making the trip across.

“We’ll be taking our special Coventry flag to every game and it’s always great when that gets noticed back home by people.

Trouble

“ A lot of people are making quite a big deal about all the stuff that could happen over there and the press are making a big thing of it especially after the trouble back in 1998.

“But I’m not worried about anything happening, we’re here to enjoy ourselves and I can’t wait. It would never stop me from going.

“The stadium in Marseille is incredible and we’re in the South of France so what else could you ask for?

“We’re all really excited for the first game against Russia. We’ve got a great young team and I’m confident we can get off to a good start.”