Newcastle's captain has a special place in his heart for Ukraine
Newcastle's captain has a special place in his heart for Ukraine
Photo by Franco Romano/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Newcastle's captain has a special place in his heart for Ukraine

As the last remaining Newcastle United player in the England camp following Nick Pope’s withdrawal, Kieran Trippier could be in line to face Ukraine on Sunday.

It’s a testament to the character of the Ukrainian people that their national side are still participating in the Euro 2024 qualifiers in the wake of everything that’s happening at home. Giving their people something to root for away from the conflict must huge.

As the Ukraine national team prepare to face England at Wembley on Sunday, Newcastle captain Kieran Trippier has spoken to The FA’s official site ahead of the game to reminisce about the time he spent in Donetsk as a teen.

Trippier spent time in Ukraine as a teenager

Speaking on The FA’s site, Trippier recalled the time he spent in Ukraine as part of the England U19s: “We were in Donetsk for a couple of weeks and although we couldn’t travel around the city much, the people really welcomed us and helped us settle in really quickly, which was important considering we were such a young age.

“It was great to experience the city, the culture, and have the experience of playing there. I remember it was really hot as well!

Photo by Franco Romano/NurPhoto via Getty Images

“It was a really nice city, with really friendly people.”

He continued: “So it was difficult to then see the situation what is happening there. People are trying to save their country and do everything they can, and the world has come together in the sense of supporting them and trying to help them out.

“It really isn’t nice to see and to think that we have Ukrainian players in the Premier League where they have had to play knowing that their families are [at risk] back in Ukraine.

“So it is important that we show our support and try to support them where we can.”

Trippier will be hoping for more game time on Sunday

Trippier made a brief cameo on Thursday night as England defeated Italy on their home turf for the first time in 62 years. Tripps was brought on to shore up the defence following Luke Shaw‘s dismissal for a second yellow card but only had 15 minutes to make an impression at a time when Italy were dominating.

Hopefully Gareth Southgate will be mixing things up a bit on Sunday and we’ll get to see our captain stepping out with the Three Lions on his chest from the start.