Well-balanced England squad has confidence set in Stones

LONDON: England's squad for this month's European Championship in France has the ideal blend of youth and experience to succeed at the tournament, Everton defender John Stones has said.

The 22-year-old was named in England's confirmed squad for the tournament on Tuesday, on a list that includes Ross Barkley, Marcus Rashford, Harry Kane, Eric Dier, Raheem Sterling and Dele Alli, who are all under the age of 23.

"People obviously talk about the likes of Ross, Dele and Harry coming through, and it's exciting," Stones, who has made eight appearances for England, told his club's website (www.evertonfc.com).

"But there's also a lot of experience in the squad as well, players like Wayne (Rooney), Gary Cahill, Joe Hart, who have been to tournaments before.

"We did really well in the qualifying games and we're heading to France quietly confident we can do well. It's a young squad but it's good because we're all good friends and I think that makes it easy for us to gel."

The 18-year-old Rashford, who plays for Manchester United, became the youngest player to score on his England debut in Friday's 2-1 friendly win against Australia in Sunderland.

England, who have been drawn in Group B for the 24-team tournament, face Portugal in a final warm-up game at Wembley on Thursday before opening their Euro 2016 campaign against Russia on June 11.

Wales and Slovakia are the other teams in the group.