England squad to fly to Poland ahead of the start of Euro 2012 tournament



By Adam Higgins
Chief Football Editor 



Hodgson was officially unveiled as manager of the England senior national team on 1st May- the squad begin their Euro 2012 campaign on 11th June



The England football squad will fly to Poland today (Tuesday 5th June) ahead of the start of the Euro 2012 tournament on Friday.

The 23-man party, headed by 64-year old newly appointed manager Roy Hodgson, will set off from Luton Airport in London at 2:30pm in the afternoon where they are expected to arrive later in the evening at their camp based in Krakow.

As all three of England's Group D matches will take place in Ukraine- who are co-hosting the event with Poland- they will be clocking up around five-thousand miles in order to play their first round of games. Donetsk, the tournament's most easterly venue, will stage their opening and final games in the group stage with the opener against France on Monday 11th June at 5pm and Ukraine on 19th June at 7:45pm, while their second game against bogey side Sweden will be played in the Ukranian capital Kiev on 15th June.

Hodgson has had a matter of weeks to prepare the team for the tournament having only been appointed to succeed the Italian coach Fabio Capello, who resigned in Febuary, at the beginning of last month. The former West Bromwich Albion manager stayed on at the Hawthorns after the announcement and talks with FA chairman David Bernstein to take charge of the club's final two Premier League games of the season. However, he still boasts a 100% winning record taking charge in 1-0 victories over Belgium at Wembley and Norway in Oslo for the final two warm-up matches before England begin Euro 2012.  

However, his preparations have been hindered by a number of key withdrawals with third-choice goalkeeper John Ruddy, midfielders Gareth Barry & Frank Lampard as well as defender Gary Cahill having been forced to pull out of the squad due to injuries which medical staff have examined as being unrecoverable before the kick-off date.

The experienced manager- who has guided international teams in the past including Switzerland and Finland- has also found himself at the centre of a row regarding the omission of Manchester United's Rio Ferdinand from the Euro 2012 squad with Hodgson arguing his case that the defender's exclusion was purely for "footballing reasons".  

Click here to see England arrive in Poland for Euro 2012 tournament


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