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Neville: Osman a role model

Phil Neville says Everton team-mate Leon Osman is a great role model for players coming through England's youth system.

Last Updated: 22/11/12 at 16:32 Post Comment

Leon Osman: Everton team-mate Phil Neville says young players can learn a lot fr

Leon Osman: Everton team-mate Phil Neville says young players can learn a lot fr

Osman made his international senior bow for Roy Hodgson's side in the 4-2 defeat to Sweden, impressing the manager on his debut.

"Leon has had to overcome some obstacles in his career because he has had some bad injuries," the Everton skipper said.

"He has come back and got his rewards for his perseverance, good form and hard work and deserves his chance at international level."

England Under-16s can clinch their 12th Home Nations Victory Shield title in a row with a point against Scotland at Burton Albion next Thursday - a match you can watch on Sky Sports 1HD - and Neville believes that youngsters aiming to carve out a career in the game should be looking up to the likes of Osman.

"He shows you great attitude, commitment and determination. They're all characteristics which are key and vital to making it as a professional footballer and Leon Osman has them in abundance."

Neville has an interest in the England Under-16s v Scotland clash next week as it's a game he played and scored in as a schoolboy: "One of my best schoolboy football memories was when we beat Scotland 1-0 at Ibrox and I got the winning goal on that occasion.

"The games are so passionate and it was a great victory for us that day, like any derby they are always competitive games and that was the first time I experienced the great rivalry between England v Scotland.

"When I played at Under 16 level we played home games at Wembley which was an unbelievable experience.

"Playing against teams like Italy and Holland, it gets you used to playing international football at the highest level, I remember playing against top class players like Francesco Totti and Boudewijn Zenden in front of huge crowds and it was vital for my development at the time."

Neville is currently sidelined after a minor op and will miss the Norwich City game at Goodison Park this Saturday: "I've had a bit of a niggle over the last month and it got to the point where I couldn't play on anymore so I've had a minor operation.

"Hopefully it won't keep me out too long, I've recovered quite well from this sort of thing in the past and hopefully I can use the facilities at The FA's St George's Park as part of my rehabilitation."

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he thing is, footballers are role models, and children are influenced by them. I watched the Chelsea game with my 6 year old, and at school the next day she stamped on Emre Can.

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