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First Team

Hill keen to keep improving


AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

James Hill has enjoyed quite the season.

Starting it off in the third tier, he’s now a Premier League player with AFC Bournemouth and this week has helped England under-21s secure qualification to next year’s European Championships.

The defender was on the bench for Tuesday’s win over Albania, but made his debut for Lee Carsley’s side in yesterday’s 5-0 victory in Kosovo.

Speaking to talkSPORT this week, he started by discussing a whirlwind season and the experience he continues to thrive off.

“Obviously, it’s been incredible and it’s been a really fast start for me,” he said.  

“Playing at Fleetwood this season in League One, then moving into the Championship with Bournemouth and learning a different style of play has been good. Now we’ve qualified for the Euros with England and it’s been great.

“I’ve worked really hard to get to the position that I’m in now and hopefully there’s more to come. I’ve just got to keep working hard and the rest should take care of itself.”

Hill comes from a footballing family, with his father Matthew a former Bristol City and Preston North End defender and now a manager with Stafford Rangers.

The 20-year-old is keen to follow in his footsteps and admitted that the experience he’s having with the Young Lions stands him in good stead going forward.

“It’s been incredible. There are a lot of players in this group that are very good and they play at such a high standard,” continued Hill.

“It’s good for myself to be in and around the reputation that they hold. There’s the reputation of playing for England and being the best boys in the country, so you’ve got to perform.

“Obviously everyone wants to keep their place for when we do go and compete in the Euros next year. Everyone will want to perform at the highest level.

“It’s healthy competition, but I think that’s why the standard is so high and our performance in games is so good.

“To be fair, it’s tough for individuals to get in the team but the way we train every day, it gives everyone a fighting chance to play. I know if I keep training the way I’m training, there’s always a chance to get some minutes myself.”


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