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Gareth Southgate keen for quiet life at England’s Euro 2024 base

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 21 Nov 2023

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Gareth Southgate says England will be away from the tournament hubbub next summer with plans in place for a quiet European Championship base camp.

Monday’s 1-1 draw in North Macedonia rubber-stamped the Euro 2020 runners-up a place among the top seeds in the December 2 draw in Hamburg.

Southgate will be in attendance for a draw that will not only provide clarity on opposition and pathways but where England will be based during their stay in Germany.

This tournament is being regionalised for sustainability purposes, with priority given to teams whose preferred base camps are closer to their match venues.

England have registered their interest in a number of options across Germany and Southgate suggests their base will be off the beaten path.

“Really somewhere where we can be a little bit on our own,” he said looking ahead to his fourth major tournament in charge.

“We need that nice contrast of relaxation and areas where we can work.

“You want to minimise travel where you can but we are really, within the FA, our staff are really good at picking those venues that I think the players will enjoy and will feel comfortable in.

“You basically want to be somewhere where everything that’s going on around you, you can zone out from really but somewhere with facilities that are good for working.”

The camp sounds similar to the quiet, laid-back surrounds of Repino – a secluded area around 30 miles from downtown St Petersburg that provided England’s base during the 2018 World Cup.

It certainly will not be anything like the base for their last major tournament in Germany, with Baden-Baden becoming a media circus during the 2006 World Cup.

“I wasn’t involved in that tournament so I don’t know how all that was but we have a great environment with our players,” Southgate said.

“We want their families to be able to go and enjoy the tournament as well. We normally welcome them in at various times.

“It changes the dynamic of the hotel, especially if the kids come in, and I think those elements are important for the players.”

The Football Association has been scouring through the Euro 2024 base camp guide and has visited a number of potential destinations as it edges closer.

England will be sweating on the draw to see if they get their venue of choice, with Southgate saying there are various things that go into it.

“There is basically a catalogue and you’ve got to get in early, if you like, on certain venues or you can try and go off the catalogue and do something different,” he said.

“We’ve had both options available to us and we are looking forward to finalising all of our plans.”

As for the potential opposition in Germany, the pots could prove cruel or kind and Southgate is ready whatever the outcome.

“There looks like being really strong teams in pot two and pot three looks like it could be very strong,” he added.

“In the Euros we had Croatia in with us, who proved to be one of the best teams in the world over the last few years and we managed to navigate that, so we’ve just got to be ready for whatever comes our way.”

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