Furman: It will be sweet 16

By James Masters, June 30, 2011

Dean Furman is hoping his stellar season with Oldham Athletic will rub off on Team GB's Under 16 side ahead of the European Maccabi Games.

Furman, a former Chelsea trainee, joined Barnet coach Michael Stone to offer advice to the 18-strong squad during a training session.

The Under 16 side face a tough task to come out on top, with teams from Spain, Germany, Denmark and Austria all hoping to claim the top prize.

But Furman believes GB have a great chance of success in Vienna and says he is hoping his pearls of wisdom can make a difference this summer.

"They've got a great coach in Scott Shulton and manager in Joel Nathan and they look strong, fit and organised which is so important," he said.

"The biggest factor could be the heat because they won't be used to it but their fitness was very impressive.

"I think they've got a real chance of doing something and it was a pleasure to lend a helping hand.

"I'm normally the one being coached but it was fun to be on the other side of the fence and hopefully it will make a difference."

The team have been put through their paces in a number of training sessions and warm-up matches and recently visited Norwich City's youth academy.

And boss Nathan is hoping the sight of the Premier League club's facilities and the dream of further glory will inspire his troops to victory.

"We're very optimistic," he said. "We've got a great group of lads and we think we can do really well over there.

"Training has been great and we're all looking forward to the challenge."

Coach Scott Shulton expects to sign a one-year contract at Blue Square Premier new boys Braintree Town this week. He joined the Under 16 set-up after the squad was selected but he has been impressed by what he has seen.

"We've looked at a couple of formations and the squad generally have adapted excellently," he said. "I've based training sessions on that of a professional club. I'm confident they will benefit from them and continue learning."

Last updated: 3:36pm, June 30 2011