A QUIET North-East village is preparing for its 15 minutes of football fame.

Residents of Hurworth, near Darlington, are bracing themselves for the full glare of the media spotlight in June, when England's Euro 2004 bandwagon rolls into the region.

Although FA officials have yet to make a decision on where the team will train, Middlesbrough's state-of-the-art facilities - on the outskirts of the village - are already the local favourite.

And Sven's men will certainly have the opportunity to train in idyllic surroundings as England prepare to take on Slovakia at Middlesbrough FC's Riverside Stadium.

The Premiership club already trains at Hurworth's £7m Rockliffe Park complex.

This summer's match will be the first time Beckham and Co have visited the region on national team business since their stay at Slaley Hall Hotel, in Northumberland, only days after the famous 5-1 win over Germany.

And locals are hopeful of introducing coach Sven-Goran Eriksson's men to the delights of the country.

Parish council chairman Peter Foster said: "It is certainly something we would welcome - everybody in the area would be overwhelmed by it."

Coun Foster added: "I'd like to see Mr Eriksson here - I'd invite him along for a pint in the Bay Horse pub."

The squad's choice of hotel for their brief stay has yet to be decided. The golfers' paradise of Slaley Hall is an option but may be too far away, while Darlington's 17th Century Blackwell Grange and the Elizabethan manor house of Redworth Hall could also be contenders.

An FA spokeswoman said: "It will be one of the main hotels used by Premiership teams when they play away at the Riverside."

England's appearance at the Riverside will be their first in Middlesbrough since a 2-1 win over Wales in 1937.