Rooney is raring to go



First published in Sport

WAYNE ROONEY is excited to be leading England into a new era - one which the newly-appointed captain is determined will be a success.

A decade on from announcing himself on the international scene as a fresh-faced teenager at Euro 2004, the 28-year-old will this evening lead the Three Lions out at Wembley.

The international friendly with Norway will not be the first time Rooney has worn the armband but his 96th cap will be his first as permanent captain, having replaced Steven Gerrard following his international retirement in the wake of a disastrous World Cup campaign.

Nine weeks on, this match marks the starts a new chapter for Roy Hodgson’s side and, while the post-Brazil hangover means Wembley will only be half full, England’s new skipper hopes they can soon win around fans.

“It’s a great honour to captain my country, something I’m extremely proud of,” Rooney said.

“I want to be a successful, I want to be a successful captain and I want this team to be successful.

“I am sure all the team want that, we’re working hard to try and get there.

Tomorrow is the start of a new chapter.

“We have to put the summer behind us. We were all, obviously, very disappointed.

“We went into the tournament with high hopes, we were expecting better for ourselves, but unfortunately that didn’t happen but we have to move on.

There’s no point looking back.

“We’re still continuing on the road we’ve started.

We knew it was going to be tough.

“We’ve obviously got a couple of retirements and then we’ve got young players coming into the squad, which is exciting.

“What we need now is these players to bring that form to England and I am sure we’ll do very well.”

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