Although Manchester-born talent Isaac Buckley-Ricketts is currently plying his trade in Oxford, there’s a deep-seated passion for his home town.
The youngster played a starring role as England U20s hammered Portugal 3-0 last week at Manchester City’s Academy Stadium in a repeat of 2017’s European Championship final.
Buckley-Ricketts, currently on loan at Oxford United, described the sensation of representing his nation in both his home town and on the pitch where he honed his skills.
“It is a weird feeling because I am at home but I am not at home with my home team. So it is a bit weird,” the England U20s winger, who joined the Blues at the age of 13, told MM.
“It is a nice feeling playing for England, I was just proud to be representing City and England at the same time.”
The 20-year-old played an integral part of England’s victory, threatening on several occasions, only to be thwarted twice by good saves from the Portuguese stopper.
He praised the performance of his England side, who have now only lost twice in their last 18 fixtures.
“It is very relieving because we are the Euro winners, so it is a big scalp, especially because it’s Portugal.
“We had them in the finals so we knew they were going to come hard at us but getting the win in Manchester feels even better.
“It is a good feeling because we are not reliant on other players. When you know that you have the confidence in your team mates, you are more confident that you are going to score.”
The 2015-16 FA Youth Cup runner-up has twice been loaned out this season from his parent club, initially to FC Twente in Holland before switching to Oxford United in January in an effort to receive guaranteed first team football.
Thankful to god for another another year pic.twitter.com/pQQnoMtNEl
— isaac (@IsaacBuckley1) March 14, 2017
Last week, the U’s appointed new boss Karl Robinson after the Liverpool-born coach left his post at Charlton Athletic to join the managerless Oxfordshire side.
Despite the change in leadership, Buckley-Ricketts says he cannot wait to get started under the former MK Dons coach tutelage.
“It is exciting because each coach brings different aspects to the team and you personally. Every coach plays differently so I am looking forward to it.
“Oxford is going well and I settled in pretty quickly,” he said with Oxford away to Shrewsbury this evening.
“I am getting a lot of game time so I am happy and I am playing football. That is when you are at your happiest, when you are getting minutes and playing.”
England U20s manager Keith Downing commended the efforts of his Young Lions as his side picked up their second victory in a week.
“When we played in Poland on Thursday, we didn’t do so well in possession, so there was a massive emphasis over the last few days to improve that.
“I thought some of the goals were lovely. They are capable of some creativity in the team, there’s a work ethic in the team.
“We kept a clean sheet and they were just as good out of possession as they were in possession.”
Through to the final of the 2017 Euro, let’s get it!! pic.twitter.com/h7iFGcPnOh
— isaac (@IsaacBuckley1) July 12, 2017
Buckley-Ricketts was among a group of Manchester City youngsters in action for England’s junior sides during the international break as Phil Foden and Ed Francis featured for the U19s and Joel Latibeaudiere, Ian Povedo-Ocampo and Soloman Brynn were picked for the U18s.