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Kieran Leads Out England U21s

Kieran was our winner of the Mascot Experience at England's v Poland at Ashton Gate; he shares with us his thoughts about his evening.

Hi my name is Kieran, age 11 and I won the prize of being mascot for the England U21s v Poland match.

I was nervous excited about winning as I'd never done anything like this before. But on the day I really enjoyed every moment. From meeting my dad and pappy and uncle who came to watch it too, to then being left at the VIP entrance being passed over to the England staff. I was then really excited to see behind the scenes. I got to meet some other children about my age who were mascot too and enjoyed spending time with them at the buffet bar.

We did a run through rehearsal of what to do at match time and it got me feeling even more nervous excited. When I was given my England kit to wear, when I first arrived, I felt really lucky as they said I could then keep it. I would say to anyone else who thought should I bother to enter a competition like this who loves football to definitely do it! I feel very lucky and privileged to have done this experience and especially to have featured live on BT Sports that evening. All my friends and family got to watch me and my mum recorded at home so I have the lasting memory forever along with my own great memories of the evening.

I really enjoyed standing next to the possible future England international players and walking out with Angus Gunn the goalie, as well as standing in the middle of the pitch seeing that huge crowd all singing the national anthem (although I need to learn the words!). I enjoyed watching the match front row and seeing the foot works and skills of the players and really inspired me when I have a knock about in the garden at home. I do the rabona football skill a lot at home and like playing for my dad's team when he needs me.

For me the only part I was disappointed about was that I'd hoped we would go into the dressing rooms before the players arrived and to see Tammy Abraham who is my favourite player. I attend some BCFC matches with my uncle and enjoyed watching him when he used to play for them. But on a whole I feel extremely lucky to have had the experience,something I will treasure FOREVER. Thank you to everyone involved. 

Yours most grateful. 

Kieran Shepherd, 11.