Louis Reed was determined to propel England under-18’s to victory over Russia after his family made a herculean effort to attend the match in Moscow, writes James Shield.
The Sheffield United midfielder was awarded a third international cap during Monday’s 2-0 win at Arena Khimki and the occasion was made even more noteworthy because his parents and brother were among the crowd.
“They only just made it, they nearly missed their flight out here,” Reed said. “I spoke to my mum after the game and she said she was running through Heathrow airport in bare feet trying to make the plane.
“They’d had a struggle with the transfers, the trains and shuttle services there took ages to arrive, so they had a bit of a nightmare.
“I’m delighted they did get out here though and could see me play for England again, especially as my brother was with them. He lives in America so it’s the first time he has watched me play in over a year.
“He is back for the summer and came out with my parents. I got a knock early on, but there was no way I was coming off after the journey he had made.”
Reed is expected to represent Neil Dewsnip’s side again when they face Russia for a second time this evening.
“Everything has come round really quick but I’ve really enjoyed it,” the teenager, who made 32 appearances for United last season, said. “I never expected to play as much as I have, but I have learnt a lot.
“I was nervous when I first came away with England but the lads made me feel really welcome as did the staff and that allowed me to really focus on my football.
“We have some top players from big clubs in this squad so I was a little nervous about meeting them. But they were brilliant.
“This is my first away trip with my country and it’s just like going away with mates now. I get on with everyone really well.”
Reed, a graduate of United’s Redtooth Academy, hopes to translate the skills he has acquired on England duty onto the League One stage next term when Nigel Adkins’ side attempt to secure promotion.
“It’s a lot different,” Reed said. “Not so much the working hard and getting around part, you need that in any team, but the quality of football is a lot more technical, which is no disrespect to League One because it is a very tough and competitive division.
“The games are just a bit more free-flowing at international level and you get a bit more time on the ball. You have to look after the ball really well, and the players in this side have been brought up with that instilled in them.
“So it was a bit different when I first came in but I think that I have adapted quite well into it.”